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Barishi - Barishi

by Daniel Fox at 30 December 2013, 10:01 PM

Upon hearing them, some bands and their music just remain a mystery to me. US psychedelic Prog Metal band BARISHI are one of those bands combining spacey and trippy arrangements, with a heavy, technical Progressive Metal foundation, with lyrics deep seated in the context of Pagan America, and funky flourishes abound. What struck me as utterly surprising were the vocals; I was expecting hazy croons, but was instead met with pained screams and screeches which, admittedly, took a while to get used to.

The eerie "Sky Burial" opens up for the upbeat "Holy Mountain" which is full of syncopated, heavy and crunchy riffs that I love in Progressive Metal, backed with a strange saxophone motif that makes a return from "Sky Burial". The track soon opens up to an easy-listening guitar-bass arpeggio section that strongly reminds me of ANGRA… until the vocals kick in. Somewhat annoying at first, they are at a halfway between shrieks and screams, to the point of sounding too strained. The music is inherently beautiful, and these vocals, to me, are far too much of a contrast and may be better suited to another genre. But then, maybe that was BARISHI's goal all along? "The Rider" was a warmly welcomed (and surprising) change, switching up erratically between a driving, Hard Rock beat and a Black Metal tremolo, also accompanied by equally blackened shrieks. The song only grew more adventurous and complex as time went on; the instruments more technical and the arrangements more ambitious.

This brings me to my favorite track on the album: "The Waves". It is this track that pushes all generally-set genre boundaries, and I am personally finding it hard to categorize. For a fan of progressive and adventurous music, this is an ear-dream come true. While the riffs are syncopated and heavy, there is an indisputably funky vibe to them. The arrangements of said riffs are more extravagant before with TOOL-like rhythm patterns used; it sounds like one would need to be a highly skilled musician to even begin to play these riffs, in time, for a few bars. Coupled with the unusual chord progressions, the shrieked / screamed vocals are at least finally fitting the music, in a strange, bombastic way.

Some music simply requires further listening to at least get into, let alone fully embracing and appreciating it. If old school Heavy Metal like MEGADETH and METALLICA is your jam, it may not be likely you'll enjoy BARISHI, but they certainly put something out there for the more adventurous and appreciative of the avant-garde.

4 Star Rating

1. Sky Burial
2. Holy Mountain
3. The Rider
4. Exhibiche
5. Through Mountains, Through Plains
6. The Waves
7. A Place that Swallows all Rivers
8. Jaguar Scarification Ritual
Sascha Simms – Vocals
Graham Brooks – Guitar
Jonathan Kelley – Bass
Dylan Blake – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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