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Bolzer - Soma

by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 21 August 2014, 6:48 PM

Competently executed but a long way from exceptional, “Soma”, the second EP from Swizz duo BOLZER is one of those releases that are, you know, fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it doesn’t feel like the next big thing either. It’s just perfectly acceptable Death Metal with a nice proggy twist and while they’re bound to bag a few decent support slots in the course of their career, it’s hard to imagine them ever being headliners.

Ever since they released their first EP “Aura” last year, BOLZER have enjoyed a healthy amount of hype in underground circles but of the two tracks on offer here, only the second goes any way towards justifying it. “Labyrinthian (sic) Graves” is a twisting, tumultuous slice of cosmic malevolence that builds slowly from a feedback heavy introduction. There are some furious open palm riffing, vast swathes of atmospherics and the production is suitably low key and nasty. It sounds like a pair of Goblins took LSD and tried to thrash out an EMPEROR cover in a rotten shack in the woods then forgot what they were doing halfway through. It has flashes of brilliance but make no mistake; this is not “In The Nightside Eclipse”.

In contrast, the opening “Steppes” is a more straightforward affair. It kicks off with a mid-paced blast of distortion and soon descends into a BOLT THROWER-esque rumble of low-fi Death Metal. Again, this one is fine, but there’s not a great deal to make it especially distinct and by the time it draws to a close, it’s hard to remember that much about it.

In other words, BOLZER’s biggest fault is that they’re unremarkable. Give them a bigger budget and an entire album to play with and it’s feasible their spiralling misanthropy might be a bit more absorbing, but for now the hype seems unjustified.

2 Star Rating

1. Steppes
2. Labyrinthian Graves
HzR – Drums
KzR – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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