Billy Boy In Poison

Perdition EP

Written by: AP on 22/02/2010 20:33:55

Given that I am sufficiently acquainted with three of this band's five members, vocalist Bjørn Hjorhöy, guitarist Alexander Mortensen, and his brother, drummer Nicklas Mortensen to know that Alexander's cat is cross-eyed, some people might call it unfair that I keep reviewing their stuff and point out that perhaps some of the other writers would be better suited for the task. On more than one occasion Bjørn, Alex and Nicklas have tried to bribe me with booze but let it be known that I have always respectfully refused (at least to my knowledge), and tried my hardest to give them the cold unbiased truth when it has come to assessing their music. So bear with me for this review of Billy Boy In Poison's latest outing, the "Perdition" EP.

Opener "Against the Crowd" picks up from where the previous, "Dismissing Past Events" EP left off. It's a straightforward metalcore piece lead by the kind of playful riffs I have come to associate BBiP with: jampacked with attitude and with a strange upbeatness in the melody. But "Just Behind My Eyes" then exposes the band from an as-of-yet unseen angle, leaning heavily into death metal territory with its bruising blastbeats and ominous tremolo picking. It may not be as instantly catchy as "Guns Blazing" or "Can Never Win" from the previous efforts, but the band is definitely onto something here, as the songwriting feels far more mature and thoughtful. Bjørn Hjorhöy in particular has made leaping progress with his vocals, and his harsh yell is the perfect match for this newfound balls-to-the-walls battery. "Contaminated" takes off on similar vibes as "Against the Crowd", with an oddly jubilant lead, but gradually expands into a booming, desolate middle section that allows Bjørn to show off some despondency with prolonged, harrowing cries of anguish piercing the dissonant instrumentals. "Take Your Life Back" then continues with a thrashy feel, winding itself through black metal territory (listen to the guitars at around 1:15) before developing into another doom-laden atmospheric section, presenting a fantastic opportunity for an absolutely monumental crescendo to finish things off in style (like their countrymen Vira did with "Half Awake" on their "Recurrence" EP). Unfortunately the opportunity is left unexploited, and instead the album concludes rather predictably with a chugging metalcore finale.

I had a chance to hear Alexander's own thoughts on the album some weeks ago, and he certainly wasn't kidding when he mentioned that with "Perdition", BBiP wanted to take distance from the saturated metalcore scene and claim status as simply a metal band. He also said that with each release, they hope to advance the band's sound and experiment with different styles, and this EP lives up to his ambitions. It sounds like BBiP, but also fresh and, much more full-fledged. Although the band has sacrificed on the catchy front, which unfortunately deducts from the lasting value, the songwriting and technical proficiency have come a long way since "Distilled Life" three years ago. As such, "Perdition" is the band's finest output to date, if still lacking the edge to compete with the international heavyweights in the genre.


Download: Just Behind My Eyes, Contaminated, Take Your Life Back
For the fans of: Palt, Pilgrimz, Vira
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.01.2010

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