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Barus - Drowned Award winner

by Jus at 01 October 2018, 3:28 AM

BARUS is a Prog Death Metal band from France who have released their first full length, and second release overall, “Drowned,” on Memento Mori records.   The music contained within the 56 minute length of the album, is heavy and a bit crazy, definitely for fans of Death Metal.  With that said, they also definitely take a different path to this misery, Progressive structures and instrumentation the weapons they choose to batter your senses with it. “Drowned,” has the dark soundscapes of Black Metal, the brutality of Death Metal, and the musical sensibilities of Progressive Metal.  It could be considered all the things at once without being too much of any; their sound definitely fits a wide audience. The first track, “Descry,” immediately goes straight for the throat.  Dissonant yet groove embraced riffs opens up the song for vocalist K’s twisted Death growls. The song changes tempo several times going from a rhythm oriented song with catchy chugging riffs to slow, down-tuned riffs.  The last minute and a half is a passage that was designed for non stop head banging.

The beginning of “Engorge,” sounds as if it is the middle part of a song I don’t remember hearing. A’s drums and H’s bass are a rhythm duo from Hell, bashing around so much the sonic confusion is unrelenting.  At the 1:36 mark, it seems the confusion is over but it just means trading one plane of emotions for another.  Filtered clean vocals, walking bass and drums, and clean guitar fill the narrow walkway now, sounding like an almost entirely different band yet making it fully known who they are. After the cerebral interlude, “Amass,” comes the total opposite thrash attack of a track, “Dissever.”  J and M push the song perpetually forward with their rhythm guitars, and the lead parts bringing the immediacy the track calls for to the forefront.  K, as he does often throughout the album, growls and shouts in a near spoken word cadence, a highly effective skill. “Perpetrate,” is backed back hypnotic riffs and a creepy, depraved vocals that walk the line between sanity and depravity.  The middle section is both a clean reprieve and a  chilling cognition.  What comes next is guitar riffs that crashing and explode like broken waves against a brackish shore, the perfect vehicle for the cannibalistic screams that come with them.

Forsaken,” is the final track and they go out with a bang.  The guitars shift tone to a Black Metal setting but the drums keep everything still firmly within the starkness of Death Metal.  H and A get a chance to show off their Proggy, perhaps even Jazz, chops in the middle of the song before everything goes black again.  The last half the song seems to build and build, the tension so thick it could be cut with a knife.  The dam bursts open with all the instruments a swirling mass of death and decay, a huge wall of sound that just smothers everything. BARUS’ have made an impressive first full length album, one that has enough atmosphere to create a different journey upon every listen. “Drowned” is a perfect title, as well, as the music is as large and dense as deep water but just as deadly if you find yourself trapped under something you didn’t understand. Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Descry
2. Graze
3. Engorge
4. Amass
5. Dissever
6. Vitiate
7. Benumb
8. Perpetrate
9. Forsake
K - Vocals
J - Guitars
M - Guitars
A - Drums
H - Bass
Record Label: Memento Mori


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Edited 02 February 2023

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