A sense of urgency courses through Unison Life, the breathtaking third record from the Belgian group BRUTUS. “For too long, I’ve been dying inside,” howls vocalist/drummer Stefanie Mannaerts on “What Have We Done,” and the anguish in her voice is enough to raise gooseflesh. Since 2017, the trio has charted a path through the stormier end of hard rock, fusing things like post-punk’s angularity and the wrenching surges of emo to bare-knuckle riffing. Unison Life plays like their magnum opus—the full realization of everything they’ve been pushing toward for the last five years. Songs like “Dust” and “Brave” gallop forward at a breakneck pace, Stijn Vanhoegaerden reining in the frenetic drumming with long, silvery lassos of guitar. But this is Mannaerts’s show, and she throws herself into every note she sings, frequently vaulting into the sandpapery upper reaches of her register. She often recalls Björk—not just in the timbre of her voice, but in her fierce, desperate commitment to the material. You can almost visualize her on stage, on one knee, hunched over at the waist, clutching her stomach as she pleads into the microphone. It’s a star-making performance, one that infuses Unison Life with a sense of rawness that is often rattling. Near the end of the album, the band slows down enough for Mannaerts to quietly sing, “Do you feel fine? Are you alright?” After 43 minutes of pure, unabashed catharsis, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

Past Shows


May
24
th
2023
Fine Line
May
24
th
2023
Fine Line

Converge

with BRUTUS and Frail Body

More Shows

Nov
3
rd
First Avenue

Allison Russell

with Kara Jackson
Oct
24
th
Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Porches

with sweet93
Sep
28
th
Palace Theatre

Cloud Cult

Jul
10
th
Fine Line

The New Pornographers