Wednesday 3 July 2019
Synthwave meets metal. This Frenchman blends aggressive beats, neon synths, guitar shredding and an obsession with 80s horror films.

One of the biggest trends in metal in recent years is synthwave – and it’s not even metal! With its dark aesthetics, heavy songs and fast tempos, this brand of electronic music has quickly conquered the hearts of both ravers and metalheads.

The genre evokes the hallmarks of 70s and 80s horror and sci-fi film scores but often with a little more pop sensibility and a fatter, louder production. Franck Hueso, better known by his stage name Carpenter Brut, is at the forefront of this ever-expanding, nostalgia-tinged movement.

The synth-waver released three stunning EPs between 2012 and 2015, which have been compiled on the release Trilogy. Check out the beautiful, retro-stylised video for “Turbo Killer”, and you quickly get an idea of Carpenter Brut’s doings.

The French producer finally released his debut full length in 2018 called Leather Teeth, a conceptual piece that continuously delves deeply into the 80s, especially in its duality of electric guitar solos and effervescent synths around every corner. The sound is an encapsulation of what Franck Hueso describes as a “pure frenzy like Master of Puppets, or any of the good old metal albums: eight tracks wrapped in 32 minutes of sound.” It’s not thrash metal but it bridges some energy from the hard-hitting genre.

Franck Hueso primarily works as a one-man army in the studio. But when he plays live it’s a whole other matter. Here, he is joined on stage by guitarist Adrien Grousset and drummer Florent Marcadet, and Carpenter Brut becomes a real band playing live. Together they deliver shredding guitars, thundering drums and one thick, dirty synth line after another. Expect mosh pits, aggression, nostalgia and dance – and expect to be enchanted when Carpenter Brut plays like its 1985 all over again!