Sunday 6 May 2012

Breag Naofa - Breag Naofa

Breag Naofa are another band that I have recently been introduced to. The name itself, is Gaelic and translates to "Holy Lie", but the band themselves come from Seattle. This is their debut self titled record that was released via Panic Records earlier this year.


1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV

Breag Naofa are described as a post-hardcore band, in the same vein as bands like Cult Of Luna and Isis. Initially, I sounds huge, with a wall of riffs and pounding drums. The music is very atmospheric and as the vocals kick in, the hardcore roots of the band kick in. Breag Naofa features members of US hardcore bands Trial and Love Is Red, so have a pretty damn good pedigree.

This album has some great metallic moments, and is nicely downtuned. I stretches for just over ten minutes and reminds me of a lot of the UK hardcore bands I've been listening to recently, who are influenced by darker, more original bands like Integrity and Strife. The music here is creative and original, with plenty of clever instrumentation. They don't have the loud/quiet aesthetic of bands like Cult of Luna or Isis, but with the dissonance and heft in their music, they do have an incredible sound.

II shows off the production of the record. Clear yet with enough character to make it standout. Breag Naofa rely on those mighty guitars to power this beast along, with occasional Sludge and Doom sound bites, as well as occasional smashing, cymbal led drums that underpin it all. The noise levels in II increase as it progresses, even when the pace slows down. There are some nineties hardcore/screamo influences in the music too, like the introspective passage half-way through II. The cleanly plucked guitar and bass that comes to the fore highlights Breag Naofa's creativity and progression and the hard-hitting dynamics that come in later on, jolt you back to life and make you realise
your listening to something  altogether different and unique.

Out of all the different iterations of Hardcore, I think that this is my favourite. I like the way that different sounds and melodies are displayed alongside more traditional hardcore structures, and the fact that  it's played outside of normal genre  limits, by bands who truly want to challenge the genre and it's listeners.

III is almost a call to arms in the sheer heft and brutality of the song, Now, it's not brutality in the sense that it's horrendously fast or unlistenable, but in that fact that it just sounds mightily loud. Breag Naofa manage to fashion a sound that is simple yet effective here, the combination of vocals and instruments working in harmony to create something consistently good. I like the final part of III, with the high-pitched guitar melodies and segue into the final verse and ending.

IV is the final song on this effort and it has a very different feel to it from the rest of the record. The cleanly plucked guitar at the start gives it a folky sound.  It's also the longest song on the release, which means it's pretty indulgent, but in a good way. The majority of the song is instrumental and adds a climactic end to what's been a pretty incredible record.

Overall, I really like this record. As I said above, it's pretty much my favourite iteration of Hardcore, due to it's creativity and musicality, which Breag Naofa manage to pull off brilliantly. If you haven't heard this band yet, make sure you check them out real soon. They won't stay a secret for much longer!

You can listen to tracks II and IV via Breag Naofa's Bandcamp page below:-

If you like what you hear, you can buy their record from the Panic Records Estore at

You can also check out more about Breag Naofa on their blog at and on their Facebook page at

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