"Achingly beautiful, haunting music that marks Big Brave out as so much more than just another doom metal act": Big|Brave transcend boundaries on new album A Chaos Of Flowers

Ten years on from their debut album, Canada's Big|Brave are moving far beyond their folk-doom roots with new album A Chaos Of Flowers

Big Brave 2024
(Image: © Big Brave)

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I felt a funeral in my brain.’ With these words, this Canadian experimental trio, who seamlessly blend elements of doom and folk, open their sixth standalone full-length. The phrase, uttered delicately and imbued with the innocence of a child by vocalist/ guitarist Robin Wattie, is set over the straining, strangulated reverberant tone of a bowed piano. 

The effect is one of immediate absorption, a quiet minimalist moment that signals to the listener that the next 40 minutes is going to be an intimate yet otherworldly experience by which they will be indelibly marked. 

In a sense, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Big | Brave have been steadily refining their singular approach to doom and reinvention of tension-release dynamics since their humble beginnings in 2012, exploring an increasingly experimental and singular vision where each album has built upon the last. But with A Chaos Of Flowers, the minimalist use of space and moments of near silence add depth and extraordinary emotional heft to the album’s expulsions of noise and wailing sonorous feedback – a technique used to exceptional effect on Theft

The contrast between guitarist Mathieu Ball’s crashing distorted waves of chords and drummer Tasy Hudson’s closely miked, gently brush-stroked drums on Not Speaking Of The Ways is the sort of idea that sounds barmy on paper but works unnervingly well in practice. It induces a subtle sense of unease that recalls the unprecedented sonic experimentation that Low adopted on their last two albums, Double Negative and Hey What

This is achingly beautiful, haunting music that marks the three-piece out as so much more than just another doom metal act. Where Big | Brave go from here is anyone’s guess, but what is clear is that, on A Chaos Of Flowers, they’ve transcended their doom metal origins without betraying them and created something truly astonishing and unique in the process.

A Chaos Of Flowers is out April 19 via Thrill Jockey