Quiet Earth? Not if Bison B.C. have anything to with it. Starting with 'Primal Emptiness Of Outer Space' we are introduced to some of the heaviest riffage I've heard this year. Full of NOLA-loving sludge, unusual for a Canadian band, it sets out its stall from the off. Unfortunately, as an opener at least, it meanders in the mid-section just a little too much and nearly outstays its welcome. Stick with it though, and the next couple of tracks are much stronger and showcase the hardcore leanings a little more, which is always evident in the vocal work of James Farwell; also doing a tremendous Chuck Schuldiner/Patrick Mameli impression on occasion. However, it is the monumental 'Wendigo Part 1' that really stokes my fire. It would be without hyperbole to suggest that this is my favourite song of this year; and with strong competition this year, that really is commendation. This song really expresses the bandís sense of melody and, more importantly, song arrangement. It's so easy to arrange on-the-fly with PC-based recording, and it's nice to hear an album that sounds like it was rehearsed well in advance of seeing the studio. 'Medication' is a great little instrumental jam that is reminiscent of Kyuss' epic noodlings (before they hit self-destruct). There are moments too of technicality in the guitar work, which are almost death metal in their complexity. There's a great little tribal-esque moment at the start of the title track that makes you wonder why Sepultura don't return to those, ahem, 'Roots'. If you love your metal to be epic and doomy, whilst retaining a natural groove, then you can do little better than buying this tremendous work of art. Seriously, I cannot urge you enough to put this on your Christmas list. And, I didn't mention that famous band from Birmingham once.
Metal Blade Records
Review by Steve Cowan
17th Nov 2008
1) Primal Emptiness of Outer Space
2) Dark Towers
3) Slow Hand of Death
4) Wedigo Pt.1 (Quest for Fire)
5) These are My Dress Clothes
6) Wedigo Pt.2 (Cursed To Roam)
8) Quiet Earth
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"If you love your metal to be epic and doomy, whilst retaining a natural groove, then you can do little better than buying this tremendous work of art."