BIG|BRAVE's Mathieu Ball: “Whenever we play something too musical, I feel it’s almost a cop out. We have to get rid of any traditional guitar playing!”

(Image credit: Samantha Marble)

BIG|BRAVE co-founder Mathieu Ball suggests that the long-running Montreal metal trio aims to keep their music “as bleak as possible”. Fittingly, Vital, the band's newest, Polaris Music Prize-nominated album, delivers stark, long-form crushes – subsonic fields of low-tuned, slow-rolling chord work arguably paying homage to both the symphonic Montreal post-rock scene of the past 20 years, and the minimalist, yet towering dirges of Sunn O))). 

On Vital, Ball, guitarist/vocalist Robin Wattie and drummer Tasy Hudson further refine that blunt drone-metal aesthetic. Half-Breed, for instance, spends its first few minutes contrasting Wattie’s raw, octave-hopping howl against the resolute, cone-tearing push of a single chord – at least before snaking into its mid-section’s sinister groove. 

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Gregory Adams

Gregory Adams is a Vancouver-based arts reporter. From metal legends to emerging pop icons to the best of the basement circuit, he’s interviewed musicians across countless genres for nearly two decades, most recently with Guitar World, Bass Player, Revolver, and more – as well as through his independent newsletter, Gut Feeling. This all still blows his mind. He’s a guitar player, generally bouncing hardcore riffs off his ’52 Tele reissue and a dinged-up SG.