Breag Naofa
Breag Naofa


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bedex USER (6 Reviews)
April 15th, 2020 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blending The Beyond-era Cult of Luna and early Fall of Efrafa, enter a post-metal tale of the holy, the occult, blood, and God.

Relative newcomers to the post-metal scene, Seattle-based sextet Bréag Naofa revealed themselves to the world in 2012 with this self-titled first epic revisiting a sound that was perhaps not new, but executed with a prowess few but the greatest have matched. Massive sludge-infused riffs intertwined with aerial melodic passages, complemented by intense growled vocals of the highest quality – the band’s approach never pretended to be groundbreaking, but the result is no less of a hazard to our cervical spines. Had they come out a decade earlier, they may well have entered the post-metal pantheon – or so can one speculate.

Furthering the apparent tradition of a genre where bands name themselves after Egyptian gods, title their tracks Masses, and present themselves as worshippers of celestial bodies, Bréag Naofa employ religious imagery at great length. Their particular take paints a bloodstained tale of religion as a historical epicentre of war, deceit, and madness. From the band’s very name, Old Irish for “Holy Lie”, to the artwork depicting the cephalophore Saint Denis saving his severed head from the wrath of men, the aesthetic at play here is anything but concealed.

Far from being merely ornamental, these external traits magnify the messages the music conveys in and of itself. While not taking themselves too seriously in their communication with the outside world, Bréag Naofa are a band with something to say: religious powers are poison and the sacred is murderous. Like many before it, the album starts and ends on vocal samples, the first describing a man pleading with his God but abandoned to his mortal fate before the first crushing riff takes the listener by surprise, the other critiquing the Scriptures with an excerpt of J.J. Dyken’s The Divine Default. Despite being vehement about their inclinations, the band knows to maintain a level of nuance: while most lyrics here touch on themes of obsessive faith, megalomania, and religiously-fuelled ostracization, the album also fittingly describes the story of a man so consumed by disproving the existence of God that it becomes his very own cult, and in another track refers to a solipsist Sith Lord from the expanded Star Wars universe to discuss narcissism and extravagant self-glorification.

The heaviness and intensity of the subject matter is manifested musically as much as it is lyrically, with each track growing darker, mightier and more ominous, displaying an incessantly renewed barrage of pounding post-metal riffs and growled despair. It is not before its second act that the record reveals the full breadth of its sound however, as the band suddenly unleashes faster paced, bone crushing punkish sections reminiscent of Owsla amidst their classic post-metal sound, to conclude on a fantastic, melodic yet earth-shattering finale. The band’s influences are strong and clear, and if the Black Rabbit of Inlé or the Moon Cult mean anything to you, they should be of the greatest appeal.

Whilst musical freshness may be prerequisite for historical value, its absence does not preclude enjoyment and quality. Bréag Naofa feels both familiar and new - an old friend coming back with more songs of a style you already know but enjoy nonetheless. This debut album is a ritual full of colour and dynamics, of accelerations and calm, of melodies that breathe and crushing explosions that suffocate. The line between frantic violence and pounding heaviness is one the band walked more gracefully here than in any of their later records, and this makes the album their magnum opus to date. If you have not heard post-metal classics, you ought to go there first; but if you have and want more, this is the place to be.



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user ratings (9)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bedex
April 15th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I promise the next one won't be another 4/5, but this doesn't get enough attention.



Thanks dedeman as always for proofreading!



Album stream: https://breagnaofa.bandcamp.com/album/untitled

Digging: Todd Terje - Mjondalen Diskoklubb

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2020


5795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

aye aye

Digging: Wasted Space - like summer, but colder

Archelirion
April 15th 2020


6274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is like a tire iron to a shin. Very good review again my man :]

parksungjoon
April 15th 2020


23024 Comments


> Blending The Beyond-era Cult of Luna and early Fall of Efrafa

damn you sure know how to get a man hard

great writeup as expected, your best yet dare i say

Digging: Slauter Xstroyes - Free the Beast

Bedex
April 15th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cheers boys thank you! And yeah park it's not even clickbait, I do think it's an accurate description of the album (check it out will ya)

cold
April 15th 2020


5801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YES FINALLY

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2020


5795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It really is an accurate description

parksungjoon
April 15th 2020


23024 Comments


bdx do you know year of no light?

Bedex
April 15th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ye man seen them live twice, super cool band

parksungjoon
April 15th 2020


23024 Comments


completely random thought but would you say they're any similar to this at all

Relinquished
April 15th 2020


45708 Comments


there's only one way to find out

Bedex
April 15th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

[2]

parksungjoon
April 15th 2020


23024 Comments


i was gonna do that anyway tho

Bedex
April 15th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'd say Year of No Light are more atmospheric and less riffy than this, but that's based on my distant memory of their music, haven't jammed them in a while

parksungjoon
April 15th 2020


23024 Comments


atmo over riffs describes ausserwelt very well, altho they also had a booming low end

Bedex
April 15th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yea Ausserwelt is the record that comes to mind when I think of YONL

teamster
April 15th 2020


5239 Comments


Someone mentions Ausserwelt and I instantly appear.

Great review for a very good band.

DungeonBoy
April 15th 2020


8003 Comments


oh ha, just listened to a song from this from the SOTD, will read review later, but thanks for sharing

Bedex
April 16th 2020


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks teamster! They are a good band indeed and Cearo is def worth a check (has more of the FoE crust punk-ish sections), but they never topped this one off imo



check the album Dungeon it's all just as good pretty much!

kevbogz
April 20th 2020


2638 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the Fall of Efrafa vibes are unbelievable and I'm 100% for it

Digging: Provoker - Collection No. 1



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