For those that haven’t heard of Swiss band Bölzer they are without a doubt the band-du-jour of the extreme metal scene, but with one difference. Bölzer are the band most people have been wanting but just didn’t realise it. They are better produced than black metal bands, more interesting than the deluge of Cannibal Corpse copy cat death metal bands and have an ethereal quality normally associated with Ulver or Blut Aus Nord.
Soma is the new EP to be released and, following on from last year’s Aura, any hype surrounding it is justified. Clocking in at just under 20 minutes of music over two tracks, Bölzer have provided enough music to tide you over but leave you wanting more. The shorter of the two tracks (both odes to the goddess Luna) is the 5 minute ‘Steppes’, which fuses the stomp of the last few years of output from Satyricon with Andreas Kisser style guitar work. All of this is wrapped up in production akin to early Amon Amarth (Once Sent From The Golden Hall). Second track ‘Labyrinthian Graves’ comparatively takes a sinister sounding turn by being slightly more frantic but is still tightly controlled and well paced, so well in fact that you barely notice that its 12 minutes or so long.
Dissecting the tracks further would be to take away the experience of listening to Bölzer. There is a feeling that you have always listened to them and they’re one of your favourite bands, but at the same time you’re listening to something new and, more importantly, interesting. The only question that is in the back of my mind is “what would a full album offer?” A lot of bands have been guilty of filling up a CD just because they felt they had to. But, as both releases from Bölzer attest, they only release great tracks, no more no less. Go buy it and enjoy!
Soma is available now through Invictus Productions
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