[Reviewed by Damiano Lanzi]
Taking a look at the albums released during this year 2015 and to the various “best of” lists of the specialized webzines and press, I have noticed an impressive lack of music played by proper bands with drums, guitars and bass; I mean a classic “rock” setup. Now it’s not that I’m a fan of today’s rock music, but it just seems to have vaporized (except for the disgustingly excessive form that you can hear in the uncountable talent-shows on TV). Sure, the tendency to make more immediate music, that often doesn’t have the purpose of carrying a message or a meaning, has become common in the last few years, thanks to ever more affordable digital technologies. This is explained by the fact that the music business is getting smaller and smaller every day; but while I thought that this could have led to an higher level of creativity (or at least a more democratic way of distributing music), the result is the opposite. Many musicians wonder whether it’s worth it making another record and wasting months of time on it. You can see it in social media: every week there is a new mania, may it be the Islamic State or the new episode of Star Wars. How could an underground band, in this context, write some music that is durable, with an universal meaning? Is it even worth trying?
After this long introduction, I’m happy that at least the Italian band Brief Inhale has answered “yes” to this question, releasing their first album this year. I’ve seen them live a couple years ago and their style was an interesting form of progressive metal: quite loud, but melodic at the same time. Since then, their sound has become less heavy, ceding more ground to the melodies and revealing more dynamics, with some dark ambient-oriented electronic mini-suites (“Nibiru”, “hd37784”). The inspiration from the post-industrial and progressive scene of the 90’s and 00’s is still clear in the heavier sections (“Garçon X”, “Poisonous Clouds”), with complex rhythmical patterns and cutting bass riffs, and most of all in the vocals. Singer Giulio Bonucci has an impressive tonal range and at times his voice closely recalls Maynard James Keenan of genre-defining band Tool. In the end I’ve realized that one of the reasons for continuing to play music might be making something that results beautiful in its complexity, as it happens with classical music, something where every part is essential to the final result. This can be reached only with great exercise and developing an high degree of communion between the members of a band, but it’s something that pays off in the end, at least on a spiritual level.
So, will my new year’s resolution for 2016 be to make such a complex and amazing kind of album? Nah, I don’t think I’ll have the time, better make some crap with Reason or Ableton Live. Or maybe become a DJ.
Brief Inhale – Nibiru
self released 2015