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Biwo - Life And Death

Life And Death
by Kevin Lewis at 13 November 2022, 5:43 AM

BIWO is a German Melodic Heavy Metal band formed by Sven Biwo in 2020. Channeling everything Traditional Metal and mixing in a heavy dose of 1980’s influences, their debut album, Life And Death, will release on November 11, 2022. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, this is a quick listen, giving you eight songs of guitar driven rock to whet your appetite. The album opens with “Live Now,” a song with a fairly heavy riff and a decent rhythm. The vocals are layered pretty heavily, allowing for a more rapid-fire lyrical delivery and some harmonized voices in some areas. The lead work on the guitar is pretty nice and the bass spends a little time way up on the neck, making it stand out better as an offset from the guitar. Some of the transitions are a little choppy, giving the track a bit of an unpolished feel, though that could easily be intentional.

Fountain Of Youth” has a more upbeat, almost glam rock sound to it. The drumming is good, but not overly technical. The music is catchy and everything fits well into the groove. These songs would sound really weird with Hanno dropping some blast beats. The rhythm for “Win This Fight” is a bit faster and shows more of Hanno’s and Justus’ chops. The vocals go bigger, showing some of Biwo’s range a little better than the first two songs. Finley gets a bit more prominence in “Mother Earth.” The intro is slow and a bit sludgy and the guitar comes in low and slow before the lyrics. The lead work under the vocals is well moderated and paced nicely. The vocals do seem to pop out a bit more on this track in some places, like the mix just got a bit out of hand.

Poor Boy” has all the markings of a ballad, starting off with a guitar strumming rather than riffing. The vocals are subdued and the tone is somber, with a bit of longing in the voice. The track is somewhat melancholy. Then, “I” comes in and takes the tempo back up. After the intro, the riff kicks in and goes on to be one of the heaviest on the disc. From a hard rock standpoint, this is the foray into metal with a faster tempo for the rhythm and deeper timbre for the guitars. “Alone In The Dark” is a bit of a NWOBHM sounding song. Again, it’s a choppy in some of the transitions. It has a good riff and the drum work is some of the better on the record, just has a few rough spots when shifting phrases. The album wraps with “Judgment Of The Gods,” another NWOBHM-influenced track, though this one is from the lighter end of the genre. The guitar work for the intro is delicate and quite good.

Life And Death is a good album. It has some struggles, but the overall effect works. The musicianship is good, definitely helps pull some of the songs together better. There is a lot of promise for the future if they decide to keep this as a primary project.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Live Now
2. Fountain Of Youth
3. Win This Fight
4. Mother Earth
5. Poor Boy
6. I
7. Alone In The Dark
8. Judgment Of The Gods
Sven Biwo – Vocals/Guitar
Justus – Bass
Hanno – Drums
Finley – Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 20 March 2023

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