Overall Score: 8/10 Atmospherics: 8/10 Layers: 8/10 Repeat Listen Value: 8/10 Pros: Essential listening in the world of post-rock and post-metal | Some stunning ambient elements Cons: Feels like it goes by way too fast
Five years after their magnum opus Audio Noir, and four years since their last release of any sort (I II Remastered), Kent post-metal outfit Bossk have returned with their new album Migration. Given the standard of their previous releases, expectations were high for this album, and Bossk have not let anyone down.
The album kicks off with White Stork, a six minute slow burning piece of ambient wonderfulness. It’s the perfect warm up for Menhir, which sees Bossk combine with post-metal royalty in the form of Cult Of Luna’s creative mastermind Johannes Persson. It is, as one might expect given the parties involved, extremely good. From Persson’s crushing vocals which appear in bursts to the more chilled out mid section, it is one of the best post-metal songs with vocals you’ll hear all year by anyone. The attention to detail continues with the short Iter, where those familiar with this style of heavy music will likely be able to pick up on the care and craft that has gone into the use and selection of every little mechanical sample.
Moving through the album, Palm Reader’s Josh Mckeown is the second guest to feature, joining forces with Bossk on HTV-3. Feeling like a song that’s part post-metal and part post-hardcore, Bossk make excellent use of Josh’s vocal strengths, both with the harsh vocals and more subtle elements at different points throughout the track. Kibo again takes the more ambient approach, but with added subtle elements of drone and noise rock woven into the background – the kind of thing one of the genre’s finest exponents, Red Sparowes, would be proud of. The tone of the track gets darker the more it goes on, eventually dissipating into a flurry of subtle samples and effects before the album’s nine and a half minute epic Lira picks up with it’s initial hefty main riff. That riff powers the first part of the song, before the sound veers in various directions at the midpoint, returning to some minimalist drumming which is incredibly effective. In the hands of a lot of bands such an approach could be deemed boring, with Bossk, it only serves to draw the listener in more and set the stage for the next part of the track. The next part in question is a groove filled riff section with so much hook to it that bands like Hang The Bastard or Orange Goblin would love to have it as part of their arsenal.
Once again the song concludes in a whirl of samples, bringing us to the album’s final track Unberth. It’s less a song and more an eight and a half minute soundscape; A swirling mix of guitar, bursts of white noises, layers of samples and drum beats that somehow manage to be both somewhat unnerving and quite calming at the same time.
Migration does things that only the finest albums in the world of post-rock and post-metal can do. It takes the listener in and makes them feel like time has slowed. One could swear only a few minutes have gone by, when in fact a full forty minutes has passed.
For anyone who loves the more ambient side of metal, it is one of the years’ absolute must listen and must have albums. Hearing some of these songs live will be a wonderful experience, so it can only be hoped that Bossk will be appearing at a venue near you soon.
Migration is out now on Deathwish Inc.