Home of the Brave is an upcoming band hailing from Plymouth, Indiana. It’s not often that you hear of any bands getting recognized in this remote region, so when you do, its usually something pretty outstanding. If you’re into hardcore / melodic metal styled music, this band will fit right in with your collection. In 2012, HOTB released a four track EP titled Lusus Naturae. The EP consists of four tracks: Celestial Wasteland, The Red Summer, Cerebro, and The Brotherhood. Lyrically, each one of these tracks is a small snippet of a concept album. It’s apparent just by looking at the titles of the songs that there’s some X-Men influence on the tracks, though there’s some deeper subjects beneath the concept. I spoke with Kenrick (vocalist of HOTB) and asked him to explain the concept of the EP so I could get a better representation of what he was thinking when he wrote it:
“The entire Lusus Naturae album is very closely based on the concept of human mutation, kind of like that of the X-Men comic books. We are all different in many ways, in our minds, with our bodies, etc. To me, each human is a product of some type of mutation, however big or small. The record tries to work with that idea and relate each song to a certain X-Men character, but having the lyrics be more metaphorical in this instance.”
Now for the most part, the album’s lyrics draws connections between the obvious themes presented and real world situations. It would be inaccurate to say that this album was written to solely depict ideas about X-Men, because in reality, its more metaphorical in nature. We can see the parallels between the concept and reality by examining “The Red Summer.” The song is conceptually about Wolverine, but it also can be perceived as describing humans who have been betrayed by other humans. Kenrick elaborates on the idea of the album being metaphorical when discussing this song:
“THE RED SUMMER: This song is heavily influenced by the Wolverine character in the X-Men comics. It starts out stating how he was an animal at one point (like all of us), then he was modified, betrayed by his modifiers, and how he vows revenge against them. The track basically goes from saying: “I am an animal” “I have been modified by justice, but I feel no justice.” I had always wanted to write a song of betrayal and this was perfect for it without just saying “YOU BETRAYED ME…BLAH BLAH”. The end of the song starts out with the same riff as the beginning and changes to “We are all animals” meaning just that. We are all animals here on the Earth and yet some of us are being modified unnaturally(like Wolverine).”
The entire EP seems to follow this fashion of having paralleled ideas between the concept and real-world scenarios, not just the song examined above. Celestial Wasteland touches on the ideas of how everyone has their own unique “mutation” that they are born with to help better the world as a whole.
Outside of the lyrical content, the band has a solid foundation musically. It’s easy to say that the EP feels like one cohesive unit musically, as much as it like one unit lyrically. Each song, in a way, sets the listener up for the next song in an “auditorial gradient” way. When any band first starts out, usually the writing and music is completely different from one song to another, but as a band progresses and matures, they are able to write music in a more consistent manner. It’s apparent to me that HOTB have found their own style and have been able to keep on track with that sound as they continue to write material. As for the bands sound, they tend to mix a multitude of styles and sub-genres together. They implement everything from technical / progressive / staccato breakdowns to odd time-signature sections to electronic themes (I.E. the end of The brotherhood is a maelstrom of melodic elements – Piano, droning choirs, etc). Rest assured though, there’s plenty of just flat out heavy sections in each song that’s guaranteed to get you amped up: Plenty of chugging, lots of double bass work, and brutal growls. That alone should be enough to keep any metal fan happy.
Overall, I would suggest Home of the Brave’s music to anyone who’s a fan of hardcore music or a fan of metal in general. I imagine this band getting signed within the near future if they continue to put this much effort into all of their releases. You can check out their music video for Red Summer below along with all other important and relevant links to their media/social networking.