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Bræ – A Thousand Ways to End it all

bræ – a thousand ways to end it all


When the new Bræ album caught my eye, the boss of VM Underground was kind enough to point out that the review material of their debut album ‘A Thousand Ways to End it all’ had been collecting dust in our vaults. And thus, I commenced on a journey into the sound of the band, whose identity at the time of the debut was undisclosed. Although we now know who is behind this two-piece band, let’s leave their identities out of the equation for this review (and kindly point to the review of ‘Av Vålnader Bortom Allt’ for more background information on the band) and strictly focus on the material on offer on this Amor Fati Productions produced vinyl exclusive release.

Just two songs make up the entirety of ‘A Thousand Ways to End it all’, but each of those clocks in at 21 minutes and a few seconds. As the length of the songs and the album title suggests, the music on the album takes us on path of doom, gloom and depression. This manifests itself as a form of Depressive Black Metal, with ice-cold piercing shrieks that border on vocal inhales.  These are draped upon a soundscape of typically slow, spun-out guitar riffs with slightly more shifting drum rhythms. Don’t expect blast beats and the cymbals remain constant, but otherwise the drums are the most varied aspect of the music even though most of the music moves at a slow to crawling pace. Together with the raw and somewhat hollow production, the music evokes a suffocating sense of depression in which the tortured screams almost sound like souls that have employed one of those thousand ways to end it all.

Both songs follow a similar pattern in which the song slowly builds upon its disturbing atmosphere. In both cases, towards the second half of the song an extensive calmer and ambient break is incorporated which are equally eerie but relieve a bit of the chokehold the album takes on you. While I like these parts and they add a great deal to the songs, the comparable structure between both songs and similar incorporation of the ambient breaks makes it somewhat predictable. Having said that, both parts of the album flow nicely into one and could have been originally intended to be a single track. With a touch of haunting keyboards and a slightly more shifting nature, in particular ‘A Thousand Ways to End It all – Part II’ shows the strength of the song writing on this record. And that is, that even though operating at a dragging pace and consisting of stretched out riffs, the album manages to retain the attention throughout the lengthy tracks.

With two 21-minute songs of depressive and choking Black Metal there is quite a bit to take in, and it obviously asks something from the listener. But despite a somewhat similar structure to the songs, as far as I’m concerned Bræ has done well to keep things interesting and ‘A Thousand Ways to End it all’ turns out to be a solid debut album of the band.


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