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Bisonte - Ancestral Punishment

Ancestral Punishment
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 27 August 2020, 7:34 AM

BISONTE is a Sludge/Doom metal band from Spain.  “Ancestral Punishment,” is their full length debut, after forming earlier in the year. Across the six tracks and forty-three-minute runtime, the album tells a story of the invasion and destruction of a world by external beings. BISONTE's overall sound is extremely heavy. I suppose the best way to describe it is to imagine a brick wall falling onto your body. Then an airplane crash lands on top it just before Godzilla steps on it.

Despite this, the album does maintain a slightly sleepy and smokey vibe. It is on the verge of a deep stoner doom sound but the atmosphere is more danger and much less haze and daze. The sludge side of the album shows through as well, especially the bass and drums, where their sound is like a two-ton hammer being dragged through the earth itself.

These aspects also keep the album from really letting itself cut loose—I felt like these songs wanted to really explode but they never really get there.  There are some tempo changes but they are glacial so the album feels like it moves at the same speed the entire time. The first track, "Our Home", showcases these big riffs almost immediately and even some muddy melodies. The vocals fit the music perfectly, a balance between lithe tendencies and stoner vibes. There are some death growls as well and prove to be a nice touch.

"Two Worlds," drops the hammer with super deep tones, the bass and guitars just vibrating to the point where it felt like my headphones were going to shake off. Clean guitar parts litter this one and are a nice yet complimentary break from the bulldozing dense riffs."Where Strangers Reside," has a rich, all-encompassing sound that really immerses you into the sound. The bass really helps push the guitar sound forward and the two instruments bring the low tones that are as sinister as they are thick.

"The Arrival of Our End," is perhaps my favorite track on the album. There is finality in the dark melody of the track's beginning that I just couldn't shake. The only thing more harrowing in anticipating the end is actually living in it—-the rest of the song drops you in the thick of it, each riff like the opening of a new otherworldly void.

The title track is one of the more direct tracks, especially with the drums and guitar melodies out front.  There is much focus on destroying and perpetual movement in the music.  The slight tempo changes that crop up during the song go a long way in pushing the sound further, and finishing the story on high note.

The last track "New Beginning," is a nice little instrumental that caps it all off but this is the shortest track on the album and the least interesting—I found myself ignoring this track most of the time and letting the title track serve as the album’s last moments.       With that being said, the other tracks don’t do much differentiate from each other—I think the band would do well to inject a little variety into future releases.

But in the end, BISONTE's "Ancestral Romance," is an ultra-heavy album with atmosphere that matches it.  It’s strong performances and cohesive story telling make it a decent album for doom/sludge fans who love atmosphere in their music.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Our Home
2. Two Worlds
3. Where Strangers Reside
4. The Arrival of Our End
5. Ancestral Punishment
6. New Beginning
Maria J – Vocals
Vicente Paya – Guitars
Andrea Trujillo – Bass
Pablo Herrero - Drums
Record Label: Xtreem Music


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