Album: Glorious Retribution
Country: United States of America
Release Date: September 6th, 2019
From the Springfield, Massachusetts area comes the rebirth of a five-piece once quite active in the local scene; following a moniker change, and the coming together of the original line-up, the debut is finally here. Partaking in the triumphant return to their rightful place on the stage is Brian Nasuta on lead vocals, Erin Fett on lead guitar, Mike Sirois on rhythm guitar and vocals, Brett Miller on bass, and James Garnes on drums and vocals. Being friends with the members (at least a couple of them like me) has made this easily my most anticipated album of the year, and most of that anticipation has been fermenting in my mind since these guys were crushing crowds near a decade ago. With Fett feeding me tasty little morsels along the way as this release was brewing in Fremata Face Studios under the care of Nicholas Zalowski, I was ready for the full unadulterated experience.
My natural habitat, if you follow my reviews, is Death Metal followed by Black Metal, and dipping my toe into much else has the potential to go sideways. If I wasn’t already acquainted with the music, and knowledgeable of how much I already like a few of the songs, I’m not sure this is the type of music I would have given a shot these days, to my great detriment. This isn’t Death, or Black, or Doom, or Sludge; this is just Metal! Remember the days when you could hear a decent Metal song on the radio? This is in that style, Metal with memorable riffs (without show-off wankery), vicious vocals, and crisp detonating drums; Brōther’s style isn’t the modern homogenized paint-by-numbers bullshit, they carve their path.
The drums are helmed by James Garnes, who is superb at keeping the low-end thumping along with intriguing fills and beats to keep things interesting. It is incredible the amount of maturity that comes through James’ performance; the shrewd balance of decadent fills and crashes with more reserved beats holding firm the foundation of every heavy moment. His skills don’t end at the skins, as he is also the clean vocalist on a few of the songs, adding his ethereal serenade to the canvas. Bass is handled by Brett Miller who weaves his work into the foundation, sometimes on the front lines, holding the line behind but never boring.
Though some of the influences may be worn of their sleeves, others are as diverse as Pantera to Yngwie Malmsteen just for Fett alone; the resulting concoction of disparate backgrounds combined with their laser-focused sound produce a memorable and well thought out album. Elephant Man was the first single released by the band as a teaser, though it was not one of those familiar to me; the distinction of most familiar would go to Helen, a song I have heard somewhere shy of half a dozen times live, and many more times on their self-released EP/demo years ago. Just as effective in its current incarnation, Helen is an excellent piece of metal, timeless and effective with good use of tempo changes, and the strain in Brian’s voice conveys a great deal of emotion. Two Heartbeats in Hell is another welcome throwback for me and the small but desperately loyal army of followers; hearing that riff open the song transports me back to these five young guys still honing this song, and watching the unbridled passion for their craft pour out. The ensuing years have imbued this song, and indeed the whole album with a greater sense of who they are and what their music means in that context.
Glorious Retribution is a culmination of all they have experienced, separately and collectively, and it shows in everything, from the composition of the songs to their new moniker, and even the artwork. I was surprised by just how instantly I enjoyed the newer (ones I hadn’t heard before) songs on the release, many of them hopping to classic status on first listen. This is the kind of release that gets me excited to jump back into a genre I hadn’t dug into for a long while. They don’t have a Bandcamp page as of yet, but they are offering this album for free to stream and download on Spotify and various other outlets. These guys start playing live shows this month, so if you are in the Massachusetts/Connecticut area, make sure to go check them out and buy whatever they have!
2. Requiem for an Enemy
5. Elephant Man
6. Lex Talionias
7. Dried Meat Saint
8. Glorious Retribution
9. Frostbitten Fields
10. The Drift
11. Two Heartbeats in Hell
Total Playing Time: 44:05