Carpenter Brut may not make heavy metal per se, but heavy metal looms large in his sound and aesthetic. The French darksynth artist has cited Iron Maiden, Metallica, Cannibal Corse and Napalm Death as foundational influences. He's toured with and remixed Ghost. His last album, 2018's Leather Teeth, is an homage to Judas Priest and Eighties glam, and its imminent follow-up, Leather Terror, features former Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato, Converge drummer Ben Koller, Ulver, Tribulation's Jonka and Sylvaine's Kathrine Shepard.
With his heavy-metal background but non-heavy-metal output, Carpenter Brut is ideally suited as a contributor for our continuing "Great Non-Metal Albums for Metalheads" series, which has previously welcomed the likes of Deftones' Chino Moreno, Exodus' Gary Holt, Volbeat's Michael Poulsen and DevilDriver's Dez Fafara. Up now, Carpenter Brut — see his picks below.
We touch on perfection with this album. I don't have much to say in the end, the album speaks for itself. Hyper-melodic, sleek, English pop simplicity at its best. A big influence for me, and an enigma, too: How do they make such effective music with so few musical elements? Dave Gahan is one of — if not the best —frontman on the pop music planet. His voice is so mesmerizing. Definitely a dream of mine to have him featured on one of my tracks one day. It will probably remain a dream.
One of the best live albums of all time. It's wild, it's mastered in its construction, it never stops, they remix their own songs to offer a new reading. This album has inspired me a lot to work on my live shows. This is a band that really broke a lot of people's backs with their melodic electro-punk-rock mix, and so far no one has been able to replace them. They are unbeatable, in my opinion.
By far my favorite hip-hop band. I love the way they rap, very hardcore. Just listen to the track "Betta off Dead" to understand what I mean. There is a lot of darkness in this album. The choice of samples, the theme. I'm not a hip-hop specialist at all, but I haven't often heard such a violent and dark hip-hop album. And we all remember their track "Judgement Night" with Biohazard, which was by far the best track on the Judgement Night movie original soundtrack.
A monument of progressive rock. There is nothing to throw away on this album: perfect from start to finish. The story, the compositions, the arrangements, the production and the graphic universe. It's great art. It's rarely been so complete in the history of rock. An album I listen to regularly and one of my three favorite albums of all time. I don't think there's any need to say more. It makes me want to see the movie again.
As with Depeche Mode, we touch on the sublime with this album. It's also the most "I'm off work, I've got a photo shoot to do" album cover ever. The art of English songwriting is something else. And Tears for Fears is no exception to the rule. A bit more progressive than Depeche Mode, they still manage to make killer hits that everyone remembers, even if the songs can sometimes last six minutes and can be quite technical to play. "The Working Hour" is the song that any synthwave musician would dream of composing. Another big influence for me.
It took me a long time to get into Toto. They had this cheesy, popular side that prevented me from listening to their albums more carefully. And one day I try Toto, their first one. And it's a slap in the face. I didn't imagine that Toto was also that music. This groove, this sound — obviously vintage now — but so pleasant and silky. And then this perfect songwriting and these outstanding musicians. Lukather is definitely in my Top 5 favorite guitarists. Their debut album is definitely worth checking out.
Fun fact: On the last tour before I went onstage, we used to play "Africa" and people loved it.