Sem Propósito, a brand new record from the Brazilian project Bríi, packs a dizzying head trip of unnerving psych-inflected black metal.
The record features just two tracks, but both songs contain over 28 minutes of music, so there’s plenty to explore. The music veers between blistering but strangely breathable black metal, danceably jittery synth rhythms with shimmering atmosphere, and psych rock riffing that feels like it could be the work of a jam band. Bríi sticks to each one of these components for minutes at a time, and strikingly, the transitions between these otherwise quite disparate elements feel smooth.
Similarly exploratory vibes appear across Sem Propósito, helping unify the journey. Although the music feels thoroughly unnerving at times, and the sheer weight of the nearly blinding metal segments helps broaden this impact, it’s definitely not entirely bleak. Simultaneously, the music packs a rich palette of dynamic flourishes to the point where the album evokes feelings like wandering through some unfamiliar dewy forest. There’s a lot of life here, as Bríi funnels their currents of energy into a hallucinatory exploration of a kind of psychedelic mania.
The formidable force fueling the music amplifies its psychologically pointed elements, since much of the music is so relentlessly intense that it feels genuinely disorienting. There’s a sense of a kind of light beginning to jut from the cracks that the music leaves behind, because the energy feels inwardly invigorating. The breathability in the rhythms within some of the album’s more pummeling moments adds to the adrenaline-infused feeling of instability, like capturing an earthquake on repeat while unfamiliar and seemingly otherworldly flashes of color fill the sky.
Especially within the metal that first appears on the opening track, which is just called “A,” the exhausting speed combined with the intricately shifting and pointed rhythms leaves a dizzying wake. That track in particular begins with several minutes of ambiance before the blistering riffing begins. The music definitely sits well outside of conventional verse-chorus-verse structure, but it’s not particularly repetitious either — instead, it’s more free-wheeling.
The opening song mellows out around the 12-minute mark, when Bríi introduces meditative psych rock riffing for several minutes. When the intensity spikes again, psych riffing still seems to shine in the mix, and the metal side itself feels contemplatively illuminating yet maniacally intense.
Track two, called “B,” begins with a longer segment of ambiance, and when the pummeling metal kicks in at the around eight-minute mark, flashes of glistening electronica still streak through. The metal itself feels jarringly intense and hits pretty hard, like the musical equivalent of carving out a ditch with a chainsaw. The raging musical currents feel thoroughly energizing, like a jolt of psychedelic power.
It’s like tension upon tension — or, seen one way, life upon life. The album poignantly captures the feeling of craziness that might underlie a journey into unfamiliar but vibrant terrain in the first place. There’s so much happening, and Sem Propósito packs lively reflections of a sense of grand possibility alongside a fitting sort of grandiosity.
Listen to Sem Propósito by Bríi below!