Our top 10 Brutus songs introduce to us a Belgian band known for its post-hardcore music. Formed in 2013, the band had its members know each other while playing in different bands in Belgium. Vocalist and drummer Stephanie Mannaerts and bassist Peter Mulders had initially formed a Refused tribute band. On the other hand, Stephanie also knew Stijn Vanhoegaerden when they both played for the band Starfucker. The three joined hands to form the new band, Brutus. Brutus had humble beginnings with the band playing its music in tons of festivals, including Rock Herk, Dour Festival, and Pukkelpop, to name a few.
The band sharpened its skills while trying to gain the attention of record labels and music fans during this period. Brutus would later in 2016 move to Vancouver, where they used Jesse Gander’s help in recording the band’s debut album Burst. The album was released by Hassle Records in Europe, while Sargent House released the same album in the United States and worldwide. Brutus would later release their second studio album, Nest, three years later. The band would later record a live album in Ghent, which was released in 2021. While the band might have been established itself as a post-hardcore, some of its music has some shoegaze, post-metal, math rock, and post-rock vibes. While some bands might have lineup changes in the course of their careers, Brutus has maintained its original lineup since 2013. Brutus (BE) stands out from the list of five artists/bands under the same name. Here are the top 10 Brutus songs from their short yet sublime music career.
#10 – Django
Ushering us to the top 10 Brutus songs is the ballad “Django” featured on the band’s sophomore album Nest. The song begins with a pounding drum beat from singer and drummer Stephanie. Stephanie then delivers a commanding roar over a full-bodied guitar riff from Stijn. Brutus members revealed that the song represents people who have been hurt personally but never wanted their pain to last for ages. The anthemic song combines elements of metal, post-rock, and hardcore music to deliver a unique sound that even gets better in live performances.
#9 – Justice De Julia II
“Justice De Julia II” is a powerful ballad from the band’s album Burst. Released in 2017, the song exhibits a passion for electrifying music by Brutus, thanks to the trio’s awe-inspiring performance. Stephanie’s exquisite vocals complement the song’s instrumentation making “Justice De Julia II” one of the band’s best releases from the album Burst.
#8 – Drive
Also from the 2017 album Burst is “Drive,” a song that features massive guitars and clattering drums. The song also features elevated vocals from the band’s lead artist Stephanie which collides with the song’s instrumental in bringing out an impeccable punk-infused anthem. Stephanie revealed that despite having a unique sound for the song, “Drive” was a work in progress dating back to times Peter and she were a Refused tribute act.
#7 – Sand
“Sand” is one of the best Brutus songs from the band’s 2020 album going by the same name. The song has been described as a striking tuneful and distinctive slow-burn. “Sand” served as a celebration by Brutus for the first anniversary after the release of the second studio album Nest. The song features post-hardcore vibes prominently, allowing it to fit with the previous album’s music. Unique about “Sand” is the song’s instrumental that towers over the lead vocalist Stephanie’s screams.
#6 – Cemetery
Number six on our top 10 Brutus songs is the ballad “Cemetery” from the band’s album Nest. “Cemetery” is an upbeat song known for its ferocious yet exciting tune. The song opens with a blistering rhythm thanks to superb instrumentation by the trio. Brutus guitarist Stijn provides sublime guitar riffs for the song, which complements Stephanie’s vocal performance. The song’s performance moves Brutus from a mere outstanding band to an upper-echelon post-hardcore act. Stephanie’s vocals in this song have her compared to Icelandic artist Björk.
#5 – Horde
“Horde” is yet another song that makes Stephanie sound like young Björk. The song brings some of the best post-hardcore vibes from this Belgian band. “Horde” was released in 2015 on the band’s extended play Major/ Bye Julia (Triptych EP). The lyrics might not be so clear but listening to Stephanie sing is just breathtaking.
#4 – Sugar Dragon
Featured on the band’s album Nest, “Sugar Dragon” is a slow yet sublime release by Brutus. The song serves as a reminder of how Stephanie is such a magnificent drummer. Hearing her rip-roaring vocals echo over the instrumental is quite a vibe. Unlike most of the songs where Stephanie dominates the stage, “Sugar Dragon” brings the best of pure instrumentation by the band members. The chord progression in the intro makes the song distinctive.
#3 – Fire
There is only one word that can be used to describe the song “Fire,” and that’s “Energy!” Call Stephanie a wizard in her art since this is not something you see each day. Having her perform live the ballad “Fire” has always, in recent times, become the dream of all Brutus fans. How Stephanie balances her powerful yet sublime drumming skills and strong vocals simultaneously is just out of the world! Stijn’s guitar skills also add to the brilliance of the song, having him provide some powerful riffs.
#2 – All Along
“All Along” is a splendid release from the band’s album Burst. Released in 2017, the song is one of the most underrated songs from Brutus. Even though the song has quite some nice videos, the Belgian media rarely promote the song. Its wonderful voice effect and sublime video make the song a masterpiece. Stephanie proves to be a top talent in her art, having her turn her yells to the band’s fan’s favorite sounds.
#1 – War
Number one of our top 10 Brutus songs is the ballad “War.” The song was released on the band’s first studio album, Burst, which received praises from Lars Ulrich of Metallica and former The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato. Vocalist and drummer Stephanie never fails to steal the show in all of Brutus’ songs. In “War,” she delivers a powerhouse performance with an emotionally charged voice. You can’t help but notice the black-metal-inflicted percussion that helps make “War” an ethereal release from Brutus. Its high-energy performance is by far the most memorable thing from the song, making it the best Brutus song of all time.
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Top 10 Brutus Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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