Soma (EP)

Written by: EW on 10/08/2014 12:50:51

There is no band in the metal underground of today generating a buzz quite like Bölzer. Last year’s EP "Aura", a release I gave no less than 10/10 to, has earned the Swiss duo such accolades and now we have it’s successor EP "Soma" to cast impatient ears over until the day a debut full length emerges. At 2 songs and 18 minutes it is one track and 5 minutes shorter than "Aura" but possessive of the same cosmic spirit, welded around expertly crafted riffs and another hammering percussion performance which make at once make Bölzer so satisfyingly unique and replete with an aural devastation a cut above most others.

Six-minute opener "Steppes" encapsulates how mainman and sole guitarist KzR makes full usage of his guitar’s neck as he divebombs between your more expected decadent and cavernous tones for death/black metal straight into tight, tremolo-laced infusions of spatial power in the creation of those eerie, crushing riffs I so eulogised about in "Aura". Their mysterious ways means that when the songs slows around the 1:35 mark the sense of palpitation is extreme as, with drummer HzR, the build-up into the subsequent chorus of descending riffs is as fine a demonstration you will hear of dramatic classical music’s influence on extreme metal. This is tempered with spoken vocals, as a diversionary tactic from the more prevalent verbose growls before launching once again into a staccato hammering later on. "Labyrinthian Graves" at over twice the length doesn’t pack twice the punch though as it slowly drifts in on a wave of feedback before it’s key structure feels less memorable than all four previous tracks I’ve covered of the duo. That is not to say it is in any way bad but my personal highlight comes through some of the structural poundings delivered later by HzR who intertwines with the guitar intelligently in successfully varying his tempos and rhythms until the track falls into an atmospheric trance around the 9:30 mark, not unlike the recent Wolves in the Throne Room record, to drift into temporal nothingness.

To expect a follow-up on the scale of "Aura was a very high hope but having quickly found a sound of their own Bölzer have justifiably focussed on furthering that expression with a greater layering of structures and less immediacy to their riffing. The resultant EP is another teaser of what lies ahead from this noteworthy duo but for now I’m thinking the recognition of "Aura" and now "Soma" in a scene swamped with demos and EPs is justification enough for why even at this early stage the works of Bölzer are fully worthy of your attention.

Download: Steppes
For The Fans Of: Necros Christos, Malthusian
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.08.2014
Invictus Productions

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