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Bismark - Oneiromancer Award winner

by Eric Poulin at 15 April 2020, 4:36 AM

BISMARCK are a stoner/doom metal band out of Bergen, Vestland in Norway, formed back in 2015. This is their second release titled “Oneiromancer”, it contains 5 tracks and will be released on April 17th 2020. The opener “Tahaghghogh Resalat” is as gritty and dissonant as you would expect in its guitar tone, it also has a fair share of shamanic chants accompanying its unsettling atmospheres. The Arabic influence here definitely reminds me of the almighty ORPHANED LAND, as we seemingly get ready to go a journey in the desert sands.

What follows is a complete and utter change of tempo in the overly aggressive title track “Oneiromancer”. The easiest comparison would be with NEUROSIS in its shift from teutonic intensity to the slower pounding parts. The vocals are not guttural because they are easily understood but they have some pure angst and hate-driven growls.  There is an incredibly powerful vibe to the song as a whole.

“The Seer” borrows a bit more on the stoner side of the musical realm in its dirt-covered riffs and a slower approach. The vocals follow the same pattern as the previous song, but actually go a little bit more in the mid-range this time around. I guess the best way to describe this tone would be to take the early ISIS material and mix it up with KYUSS. I guarantee this song will be head banging favorite for those fans of follow-along cavernous guitar riffs.

“Hara” starts off with a much smoother intro than any of the other songs, to the point where I would say it borrows a bit on the older Gothic metal bands. Even the clean vocals remind me a bit of Anders Frieden (IN FLAMES), especially when Anders goes more into the melancholic side of things. I wouldn’t say the song has an uplifting spirit, nor do I believe that was the intent. This song is a downward spiral of sadness that fills up with anger as the song progresses. It has some of the meatier guitar parts on the entire album, a nice subterranean reverberation. This is by far my favorite track on the album, especially due to its transitions and extremely well-executed tempo variations.

Last but not least, “Khthon” starts off as a trippy experience, very progressive and a bit more experimental than the other songs. The singer shows off his clean vocal abilities, that are extremely strong, and very PARADISE LOST-ish in their delivery. The song has a very soothing side to it, after the more in-your-face style of the rest of the album, and even in its more metallic side, it lends to a post metal/apocalyptic vibe that grows until the end of the album.

Overall, even if the album only contains five songs and 35 minutes of music, there are so many layers in the songs, from the vocal style, to the guitar tone, to the perfect rhythmic changes that everything just comes together perfectly. And once you have finished the trip at the end of the final song, you are awaiting yet another song. In this day and age, where the doom genre is constantly pushing new ideas in order to be different from its contemporaries, this band uses the classic elements we know and love from the stoner rock category and adds a great deal of flavor to it. This is definitely a band to discover in 2020.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Tahaghghogh Resalat
2. Oneiromancer
3. The Seer
4. Hara
5. Khthon
Anders Vaage - Bass
Tore Lyngstad - Drums
Eirik Goksøyr - Guitars
Trygve Svarstad - Guitars
Torstein Nørstegård Tveiten - Vocals
Record Label: Apollon Records


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