Review Summary: Understated French quartet beat Godspeed at their own game.
BRUIT ≤ are a four piece post rock/modern classical band from Toulouse, France. Their name literally translates as ‘noise’ but my word, the noise they make is nothing short of breath taking. In October 2018, the quartet released their first EP, Monolith which set an intimidating benchmark for the band as they traversed multiple genres across two sprawling tracks. It was dark, fresh, patient and, particularly with closing track ‘The Fall’, suffocating.
Fast forward eighteen months and BRUIT ≤ presents their first full length, the intriguingly-titled ‘The Machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again’. Those who understand modern post rock to be predictable in its striving for quiet and loud clichés will be pleasantly surprised by this record. Sure, there are stunning climaxes here, but it doesn’t feel at all forced. Instead, we experience necessary release rather than token bombardment.
The first two tracks, Industry and Renaissance, link seamlessly together and tell a vivid story of growth and decay. Industry delights with its trap-influence beat and blipping electronics as it builds layer upon layer of calculated noise. Gorgeous strings outro the opener after a short French monologue eases the listener down after the earlier catharsis.
Renaissance is far less immediate with an acoustic guitar setting a calmer scene. It is comfortably the lightest track in mood on the record with a dazzling clarinet interlude by Florianne Tardy germinating the seeds sown by Theophile Antolinos’ acoustics. The wall of sound that washes over like a passing storm is short-lived and impactful. There’s care taken with each composition here with immaculate production complimenting the strong songwriting.
Amazing Old Tree is the penultimate track and one that tackles the global issue of habitat loss through logging. The drawling speech speaks of radicals trying to save the remaining 5% of the North American forests, turning the notion on its head by stating that what’s radical is chopping down 95%. This is all set against a droning and insistent backdrop of synths and bass that create a deep feeling of unease before they bleed out into the title track.
The Machine Is Burning closes this remarkable record with twelve minutes of perfection. The power and barely-contained fury that builds across the opening six minutes enthrals and grips you like only classics of the genre can. The release that follows this slow build is worth the album price several times over. It is a grand symphony for a troubled world, one that leaves your jaw on the floor as the instruments joyously celebrate their own destruction.
The Machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again is a tour de force that transcends the post rock genre. BRUIT ≤ have created a stunning record, refining a unique sound that teased something special on their 2018 EP. What has followed will grab the attention of newcomers to the band but, for those who have kept tabs on this understated French quartet since that EP, the fact that this new record is so flawlessly executed will come as no surprise at all.