Review Summary: The Brave’s debut album is personal, atmospheric and full of potential for the 5-piece metalcore band from Brisbane.
Epoch is defined in most dictionaries as a period of time in history or a person's life, typically one marked by notable events or particular characteristics. For The Brave, this translates into an album where each song is connected to the band on a personal level. Searchlights, for instance, is inspired by the passing of vocalist Nathan Toussaint’s cousin.
“When will I see you again" I'm searching for you in the dark.
In the dark night sky, like starlight.”
The sound of this album, described as a comparison, is reminiscent of Bring Me the Horizon’s 2013 release, Sempiternal. Described in plain words, the album is filled with huge crunching guitar riffs, symphonic synths and soaring choruses. The production is raw and visceral, each track frantic and full of ambition.
However, this album is far from being perfect or outstanding. Most of its pitfalls occur in the first half, where tracks like Break Free, Eclipse and Escape all sound like the generic metalcore we’ve been hearing for years. The similar sounding intros and song structures result in much of the album blending together and becoming indistinguishable in terms of substance. It is tracks like 1945, Epoch and Slipping Away, however, where this album really shines. The ballad-driven 1945 offers something different with its slick harmonies and heartfelt lyrics. Epoch is a solely instrumental track composed beautifully without any drums or guitars, invoking a sense of tranquility. Slipping Away finds itself with pounding drums and heavy basslines accompanied by a child choir.
The Brave’s debut is a show of great potential for the band and their high ambitions, but the cookie cutter metalcore songs that pepper throughout “Epoch” drag the album down. There are many exceptional moments on this record, however, that make it an enjoyable listen for any fan of the genre.