#71 BIG|BRAVE: Vital

See that punctuation mark between the ‘big’ and the ‘brave’ in this Montreal band’s name? That actually has many names, depending on what context it’s used. In computing it’s called a ‘pipe‘; in Sanskrit it’s known as a ‘danda’; and in logic it’s known as a ‘Sheffer stroke‘. The ‘Sheffer stroke’ is named after early 20th century logician Henry M. Sheffer who, in cruel irony, actually died of a stroke. Maybe. Probably not. I don’t actually know how he died. Also, I’m not sure that counts as irony, but that’s a debate for a different time. In general, that long, dripping ‘L’ is simply referred to as a ‘vertical bar‘.

Anyway, just thought I’d explain the definitions here so I could say the following sentence: See that vertical bar in BIG|BRAVE‘s name? That’s pretty cool, innit? Don’t know if I’ve seen a band use that before.

Ma dudes, I am badly behind on my Seth Manchester journey! Ever since his glorious production contributed to the legitimately life changing experience of the Hotelier album ‘Goodness’, I vowed to purchase and consume every record that Mr Manchester produced or engineered. This has taken me to some interesting places, some dang near unlistenable places, and ensured that I was introduced to bands such as Daughters and Lingua Ignota* before they were cool. I’ve not got time to trawl through previous lists and count every album that Mr Manchester has introduced me to, but it’s more than a dozen at this point.

You know what record I haven’t heard in that time? The next Hotelier album, because it hasn’t been fricking released almost seven years later!!

(*yeah, putting the two artists next to each other like that kind of gave me a chill, and I cannot just bring them up without bringing your attention to the absolutely horrendous abuse that Ignota has accused Daughters’ Alexis Marshall of. Yes, this is technically all unproven and wouldn’t stand up in court etc, but these allegations can’t just be ignored and it would be an extremely weird thing for Lingua to just make up. It is not an easy read, and probably merits every trigger warning you can imagine)

I mean, this masterpiece was released all the way back in April 2021! There are at least three more 2021 albums that I haven’t been able to get round to yet, and one more 2022 release that passed me by! The Seth Manchester backlog is starting to get to me, man! Sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth all this hassle, y’know?

However, every so often – in fact, remarkably regularly – an album like ‘Vital’ is brought to my attention, and I know I’ve made the right choice to put my complete trust in both Seth Manchester’s technical skills and his impeccable taste in artists.

As such an amazing curator, Mr Manchester can only receive so much credit, but the commanding BIG|BRAVE can be placed alongside The Body, Lingua Ignota and (I know, I feel sick too) Daughters, as artists I’ve been introduced whom I would never likely otherwise have chanced, and who all exemplify how some of the most interesting and experimental music being released right now (or, like, slightly longer ago…) is in the metal genre. Or is it even ‘metal’?? What even is metal in 2022 (or, erm *cough* 2021)? Is it still aging bands like Rammstein, KoЯn and Slipknot?? Did you like that backwards ‘R’ I wrote their? Yeah, I go the extra mile for you cretins. This doesn’t sound like any of that shit. It’s absolutely extreme, but more in the sense of where the artists are willing and able to drag their music to, rather than in the sense of the band saying ‘fuck’ a lot. BIG|BRAVE are right inside the nucleas of some sort of extreme musical revolution that’s taking place right now, and I am so grateful that I’m here for it.

But also, I would really like that new Hotelier album, please.


Metacritic: 87

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