The Browning is a metal/metalcore group that meshes a wide array of electronic elements with pummeling drums, crushing guitars and screaming vocals. They were formed by singer/programmer Jonny McBee in 2005 and he’s the only original member of the group who’s still in it. Which makes sense, in a way, because the vocals and the electronics are clearly what dominate the mix of most of these songs. The musicians do get to shine, too, but surely some drummers wouldn’t like electronic beats also being on songs they’ve done, just as some guitarists wouldn’t like stuttering synths over their riffs.
If I had to compare The Browning to other bands I’d probably have to go with blessthefall and Bring Me The Horizon and I certainly mean that as a compliment, those being two of my favorite bands at the moment. Both have worked electronics into their heavy tunes and made it feel quite natural, the electronics simply serving to enhance what was already there without ever really distracting you from it. To that end, you could take the electronics away from The Browning’s songs and you would still have more than solid metalcore songs. Which is pretty amazing, if you really think about it. Here’s a band that could totally excel as a genre-conforming metalcore outfit, but they opt to incorporate electronic elements into their songs even though there are surely a lot of metalcore fans out there who won’t listen to them because of the electro-tinkering. By doing something more original, they’re essentially costing themselves a lot of potential fans, which just goes to show you what genuine artists they are, that they’re more concerned with making music that sounds the way they want it to sound than they are with whether or not people are going to embrace it. Fortunately, it seems like people have been embracing it.
I quite like all of the songs on Hypernova, which is the band’s second full-length album, but if I had to pick favorites I’d go with the synth-heavy “Type 1a,” which probably has the most grandiose wall of sound of any of the tracks on hand, and “Fifth Kind,” which incorporates clean vocals along with the grunting and screeching during the chorus, which is just another thing the band has done that proves they’re true artists because lots of metal fans these days would shriek over that. I should also mention “Slaves,” an elaborate song that incorporates traditional Indian music sounds and monk-like chanting into The Browning’s sound for one of the most unique songs on an album where no two songs sound quite alike.