It’s the return of Vancouver metal heavyweights Bison B.C. with their third album and follow up to 2010’s Dark Ages. It’s a damn huge assed slice of sludge and stoner metal with thrash accents that explodes in your ears like a ten ton weight dropping on Wile E Coyote.
It may only be six tracks long, but when you consider the running time of the album nestles in at around 45mins you get the idea that this is even pushing into pseudo-progressive stylings done heavy, damn heavy.
Album opener An Old Friend comes at you just like that. There’s twists and turns, dirty thrash tinged riffs mixed in with twin guitar melodies all complemented by James Farwell’s unmistakable guttural growling and snarling. Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness really is two tracks segueing into one another with Anxiety Puke’s punkish attitude shining through before it mellows out and rolls into the expansive grandeur of Lovelessness. I use the word mellow, but really it’s more a case of slowing the pace to a studied and controlled groove after the aggression of Puke’s intro. It also reminds me of Nirvana’s early days.
With the title track having beaten you slowly and methodically into a bloody pulp, you feel you’re given a hand of recovery with the melancholic Last and First Things before it too grooves its way into you with an underlying angry madness. It brings to mind a coming together of Mudhoney and Monster Magnet and is indeed another huge track that demands your attention.
Blood Music is just damn uncomfortable and creepy, but in a good way if that’s possible! From the start it gets the goosebumps going, with the intro akin to someone drawing their nails down a chalk board before turning those nails on you and slowly dragging them down your face. It grabs a hold of you then spins wildly away and into a great guitar driven track that hits you like a ten tonne truck. This track alone probably showcases Bison B.C’s musicianship to its full extent as it ebbs and flows throughout its whole monstrous eleven minutes.
After that 30 minutes of monstrousness we’re given a sharp and vitriolic reminder that these guys can create all these shades of dark and light within much shorter tracks as well with the aptly named Clozapine Dream. A track that is as schizophrenic in its approach as its title expects it to be. With Finally Asleep bringing the album neatly full circle and carrying returning elements of An Old Friend into it, Lovelessness is a melancholic monster of an album shot with dark anger throughout that carries on perfectly from where Dark Ages left off and draws you further into the deep and murky oblivion of Bison B.C.
Lovelessness is out now through Metal Blade Records.
1. An Old Friend
2. Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness
3. Last and First Things
4. Blood Music
5. Clozapine Dream
6. Finally Asleep
Bison B.C. are:
James Farwell – guitar, vocals
Dan And – guitar, vocals
Masa Anzai – bass
Matt Wood – drums