Songs for Black Days: Brutus' Stefanie Mannaerts | Revolver

Songs for Black Days: Brutus' Stefanie Mannaerts

Vocalist-drummer shares 10 songs that have helped her through dark times
brutus stefanie PRESS 2018, Geert Braekers
Brutus' Stefanie Mannaerts, 2018
photograph by Geert Braekers

For the members of Belgian post-hardcore trio Brutus, music is all about "energy and emotion." The group's 2017 album Burst is full of both, a quality that has won them many fans including ex-Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato (now of the Black Queen), Thrice drummer Riley Breckenridge and Metallica's Lars Ulrich.

For our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked vocalist-drummer Stefanie Mannaerts to share some of the music that has helped give her the energy and emotion to persevere through dark times. Below is what she offered up.

Lorn - "Sega Sunset"

English is not my first language so I do need melodic/instrumental "words" that I can relate to how I feel. I don't always find answers or understanding in words. I feel very understood and not alone when an artist can make a track that describes exactly how I feel and gives me answers. This one is very special to me.

Cult of Luna - "Back to Chapel Town"

This band has always been present in every part of my life for such a long time now. For good and for bad times, sometimes specific songs can instantly bring back a certain feeling that you've felt at an important emotional time in your life — not always good times. With this song, I am taken back to good feelings. This band overall makes me feel better, even though it is a heavy band.

"Kaval sviri (A kaval is playing)"

You can restore your own battery from positive emotional power that others bring to the table. For myself, it works very well. This traditional song is so powerful. I don't understand a single word, but I feel every part of it, and that I am, as a listener, part of it. If you like this kind of energetic folk music, you also can look up Nord-Spanish traditional vocal songs. The rawness is very good.

Raketkanon - "Anna"

Raketkanon just has such raw songs, based on honest human emotion. I discovered them live and they left their mark pretty hard on me. They sing in a made-up language ... based on, in my opinion, pure feelings. When everything comes crushing down on you, it feels like their pounding drum and bass driven parts make the surface reach for the sky and push you to go forward.  

Johnossi - "Dead End"

This is a song that I can relate to what he is singing about. I felt this was what my friends were trying to tell me at a specific time in my life. It is a constant reminder not to surrender to total darkness when I am not feeling strong. Even though this is not the hardest type of rock music, it still gets me every time.

Burial - "Archangel"

Love the vibe of this song and the lyrics. The way the vocals are, I wouldn't change a thing. Songs like this can make you dig very deep into your thoughts and strikes to the core of your deepest feelings. For me, being able to move on from stuff, I have to feel every part of the deepest pain and go to the very bottom of it. It is OK to feel sad by a song — it is amazing how music can open up that can of worms even while words sometimes don't come in at all.

Rival Consoles - "Untravel"

I hope this song can move some other people the way it moved me. It is as dark as it is light. Like in sad times, it is so weird how everything valuable is hanging on a weak string, ready to break. For me, this song gives me positive vibes listening to it.

SubRosa - "Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes"

The lyrics are about a father telling his son he is the only thing he has left in a horrible world. Of course, the story is more than that. Sometimes I feel like the father, but sometimes when a friend or loved one relies on you and you only — which is a very valuable but hard thing — I feel I am the son. 

True Widow - "FOUR TEETH"

Such a soothing sounding song. The snare drums are like the heart(back)beat of the song. I always feel better listening to this song.

Windhand - "Orchard"

Inner bursts of energy. The vocals translate melody-wise into very deep feelings. When I feel everything is just passing by, songs like this help. It feels real.

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