The Brave – Aura

How satisfying is metcalcore? There are few sensations in music that compare to when a wave of riffs crashes over your ears and seeps into every crevice of your brain.

On Brisbane band The Brave‘s second album Aura, there are more than enough such moments to keep you content.

From the opening seconds of ‘Through The Dark‘ it is clear that this record is going to have some seriously epic moments. The intro erupts like a ravenous monster escaping restraints and immediately sets about causing carnage.

The band manage to nicely balance that ferocity out in the verses, with lyrical deliveries reminiscent of Bring Me The Horizon. Personally, I love vocalist Nathan Touissant’s more guttural singing though. He knows when to hold back and when to really give it everything to add meaningful impact.

Technicolor‘ has a more old school Linkin Park nu-metal feel to it, and with it comes the realisation that The Brave are genuinely capable of squaring up to the biggest and best heavy music has to offer. The bridge in this track strips away all excess, leaving only the harsh, visceral bones.

Aura continues to touch base with the genre’s heavyweights on ‘Out Of Reach‘, the technical nature of which brings to mind Architects from the Lost Forever // Lost Together era. I love hearing the guitars and drums syncing up so tightly, especially when accompanied by a bouncing tempo that is going to cause carnage at gigs.

With so much experimentation taking place, there were always going to be a couple of songs which don’t really hit the sweet spot. For me, those come in the shape of ‘Lost To The Night‘, the chorus of which I think is the weakest on Aura; and the title track itself, which tries to develop a softer side to the band but doesn’t quite reach it.

Burn‘ is a much better attempt to expose a more considered personality. Lyrically, the track is stronger, more personal. And the instrumentation on the chorus is just lovely. Where ‘Aura‘ fails, ‘Burn‘ succeeds in demonstrating that The Brave are not trapped in the metalcore genre. They have the ability and the confidence to expand their sounds in the future should they desire.

The album closes out with a trio of tracks which all deliver some of those noise tsunamis I described at the top of this piece. ‘Desolation‘, ‘Dragged Down‘ and ‘Goodbye‘ all hit you with an unrelenting wave of sound, in the wake of which are usually some well thought moments. The catchy chorus of ‘Dragged Down‘ for instance, or the reflective passivity of ‘Goodbye‘.

Aura is going to be a big crowd pleaser. If you want big riffs, The Brave have them. Looking for soaring choruses? They’re here. Perhaps the softer side of metalcore is more your thing. Get it here. The Brave have all the bases covered. Especially if you just want a riff to literally punch you in the face.

Rating: 8/10
Sounds Like… pure, undiluted, grade A metalcore

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