II by BriquevilleRelease date: February 24, 2017
There is no denying that instrumental music, such as post-rock and post-metal, works extremely well as accompanying soundtrack to movies and documentaries. The nature of the genre where emotions build up gradually towards a musical climax complement climatic scenes on the big screen like no other. It is therefore no surprise that the BBC has been dipping into Mogwai’s back catalogue on numerous occasions for the soundtracks of their drama series and documentaries. Or remember when Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s ‘East Hastings’ was so greatly used in the movie 28 Days Later where the climax works so well with the main character Jim fleeing from fast chasing zombies, really keeping you on the edge of your seat even more.
Some bands, like Australian post-rock band Dumbsaint, take it to another level where they release their music with matching film components. Belgium based post-metal band Briqueville has done something similar where they released a short film for the track ‘Akte II’ (Act II) when they release their self-titled debut album, and they have done something similar again with their second release II for the track ‘Akte VI’.
Musically Briqueville ticks all the post-metal boxes. Heavy riffing, big sounding drums, and various amounts of tempo and riff changes. Some post-metal can be a bit borderline boring, but luckily this isn’t the case with this band as they keep the musical changes and directions very interesting. To come back to the soundtrack comparison, it really is as if you’re watching a movie whilst listening to their music. Take the bit of melodic guitar in the first track ‘Akte V’ starting at around 7 minutes into the track, where I can totally imagine a change of scenes or an important moment in the storyline of a movie.
The band themselves likes to keep things mystical and mysterious though as there isn’t much known about the musicians behind the band. Their website tells the story of an underground movement called “Het Verbond”, which arose in 1934 and dedicated their time to tell the tragic stories of a miserable past. Apparently the band got together in 2001 as a union of masked men gathered along the banks of the river Scheldt to revive this old movement. Interestingly they decided to use the medium of (mainly) instrumental music to do so, but this probably explains the use of films to accompany the story they’re telling with their music.
Aesthetically Briqueville reminds me of their fellow countrymen in Amenra, with a black and white website and imaginary, creepy looking stills and repeating film segments etc. Musically they fall more in line with Pelican, Russian Circles and I suppose to an extent with Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Personally I am not the biggest post-rock/post-metal fan, and a band really needs to produce something special for me to listen to their album more than once, but in the case of Briqueville’s II this is really no problem at all as I’ve had multiple listens already and I still discover new layers, sounds and riffs with each listen. Fans of this musical genre should really listen to this band and their new album as you won’t be disappointed.