Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Bosse-de-Nage - ii (2011)
Country: Bay Area, California
Style: Atmospheric Black Metal
Initially, I wasn't going to cover this album because I had read and been told some things about their debut and how it was less than stellar. A good friend of mine, Jon, happened to review the album and tell me that pretty much all the prior information was given was utterly wrong and that the album was really good. So, disregarding all my prior ideas of what the band was, I came into, or at least I tried to come into, this trying to stay open minded.
As far as modern black metal goes, this is one of the weirder ones I've heard this year, and that's saying something. What's even weirder is that the music itself isn't really all that strange, you get you're tremolo picked riffs, shrieked vocals, and blasting drums, but it all just sounds a little off. Maybe it's the fact that the lyrics are done in more of an abstract form of poetry or that the music itself is just naturally a bit off, but this does differ from the regular black metal. While the most, let's say, average track on here in terms of style would have to be The Lampless Hours, I would say that the best example of the oddness that exudes from this album might best be on track four, The Death Posture. It's on this track that the band channel an almost doom-esque atmosphere without ever slowing down from a frantic black metal pace until it's closing minute.
In terms of production, this thing kind of reminded me of Deafheaven, where it's a pretty guitar and drum based mix with the bass coming through nicely and vocals kind of just remaining somewhere among the three, but not on top of them. At times, the guitars do recall elements of post-rock, which do add some variety to the otherwise straightforward black metal riffing. It should also be mentioned that with the term "post-rock" being attached to the album, as I just did, does not mean that you'll find comparisons to all the blackgaze bands popping up. In terms of post-rock elements, they're there, but they're minimal and lack the dreamy atmospheres that one will usually associate with those sounds. That's not to say there isn't atmosphere, but keep in mind that it's the kind that the band creates through repetitive riffing patterns and cycles, not the kind created with loads of reverb. Clean guitar is also rarely used, in favor of the usual distorted black metal variety.
All in all, it's a nice and solid album that I'm still kind of getting adjusted to. Frankly, it is different than what I had imagined it being based on the first couple of "reviews" I was presented with, it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong or given bad info. Check it out if you'd like to hear some weird sounding black metal with hints of post-rock thrown in there.
Overall Score: 8
Highlights: Marie In A Cage, Why Am I So Lovely? Because My Master Washes Me