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Geryon - The Wound And The Bow

The Wound And The Bow
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 October 2016, 8:26 AM

It goes without saying (but I'm going to say it anyway) that bass in Metal is mostly useless.  Even when it actually manages to be good, most of the time it gets lost in the thunder of heavy distorted riffs and the pounding of a thousand drum beats per second.  However, when it all goes well, it goes very well such as with bands like BEYOND CREATION and GORGUTS.  You can now add GERYON; you'll have no problem hearing the bass because…well, that's all they have!  Just kidding, they also have a drummer and vocalist, but he is also the bassist; it is a side project of KRALLICE‘S Nicholas McMaster (bass/death vocals) and Lev Weinstein (drums). It feels very weird to hear Death Metal so stripped down, much less the Progressive Death metal that is on display here.  Once your ears adjust though and you really delve into it, you quickly realize it isn't stripped down at all.  The music, while not technically as heavy as it obviously would be with guitars, is no less dense and dark as other Death Metal bands that use guitars and ignore their bassists.

Until I heard this album, I wasn't even aware that bass could sound like this; the melody and the low end grind that gets pumped out is better than a lot of regular Death Metal bands can do; sometimes it sounds as if there has to be more than bass playing but there really isn't—all the guitar is bass guitar. The opening track, “Silent Command,” is a fine example of what the band is about.  It fires right out of the gate into a crazy bass riff with the insane drumming propelling it forward.  Although the focus point here is clearly the bass, it doesn't discount the drums, which are as progressive and technical as they come. The vocals, provided by bassist McMaster, seem to be lost in the mix a bit; they sound a little muddled and far away.  He doesn't really say much however but I felt if they were heard better and more often then it would be a good contrast to the bass. McMaster and Weinstein are obviously very impressive and talented musicians but unfortunately that also presents a problem.  So much talent, time, and precision is spent making this a progressive power house that very little emotion or energy presents itself. With constant time changes, the instruments are all over the place making very little of this album memorable, outside of remembering how amazing the bass sounds.  Without any guitars, it just seems so doom and gloom and it really weighs their sound down, especially on the title track “The Wound And The Bow,” where some riffage could really compliment the pounding bass and quick snare of the drums.

Its easy to enjoy a couple songs here and there but listening straight thru is a big grind; it very quickly turns into background music.  But if you love bass, are a bass musician, or just into the technical part of music itself, then you'll likely disagree with that statement and eat this up.  For everyone else, you should admire the talent, and only take this one out for occasional spins.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Silent Command
2. Dawn
3. Lys
4. Skein
5. Legion
6. The Wound And The Bow
7. Dioscuri
Nicholas McMaster – Bass/Vocals
Lev Weinstein - Drums
Record Label: Profound Lore Records


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Edited 09 June 2023

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