Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Bastard Sapling : Dragged From Our Restless Trance
The triumphant gallop which kicks off this album is not something I would normally expect from an American Black metal band , much less on from Richmond Virginia. It returns toward the end of the first song bookending varied shades of blast which took a few listens to soak in. I think the initial shock wore off and i found myself measuring this against the likes of Taake and Tsjuder who I would think this would just be business as usual for those guys, but at th wend of the day the fact this is one of those albums that can play on endless repeat and I don't tire of it.
This bands strength over a lot of other Usbm ,is they get the metal part and not over thinking it, thus losing some of the fury like Krallice tends to, but then this can also be their weak spot as some of the riff age drones together . This is the element that had to grow on me.The more triumphant epic slow motion gallop sequences remain a constant and a breather after getting jackhammered by this skull fuck.
The execution is here , the right notes are played and the rolls come across the toms fast enough to satisfy those who are into that sort of thing. the first two thirds of this album works on two speeds blast your as sour and this power gallop. I like the power gallop. The first song "Prophecy born from Dismal Terrain" is a suited opener because of its bombast in this area and is the most efficient in its attack. The fact this one has the shortest running time means they also keep it very straight forward and there is less fiddling with dynamics.
The change in galloping speed on " Cold Winds Howled Across the Desolation" is subtle but like the title might suggest is more of a barren drone, this song also caused me To keep listening til I could attune more more concisely to what this band is about. The bass helps hold down the groove more on this one and the drums are not a flurry of fills like on the first song, the vocals stay in the same mid range rasp, occasionally the take on a slight croak like Immortal but the screaming is like on early Darkthrone a coating of abrasion. They do lure you in as the songs going over the ten minute mark dont seem tedious if you are locked into the drone the tremolo picking takes on to smack you in the head when the gallop rides in.
"the Apex of Suffering " does a different almost Iron Maiden take on the gallop at the beginning. There is more swing to this one though most of the elements from the first two songs are still present. They take the main riff and run with it, their are varied accents sprinkled about it and it slows down into anthemic chords close to the three minute mark before it swells back up into a roar and guitar solos come in.
"Beyond the void of Life" is significantly different Thant the other songs as they slow tho down, into a doomier feel at times. The clean guitar passage opening the song is moody and devoid of neo classical cheese, closer in feel to something Agalloch might do.It drifts into this allowing for about four minutes before it starts to really build and any metal rears its head. It has more of rock n Rollin thrash feel when the momentum builds.
Is this the most original band of the year...no, but they know what they like and what they are good at and build from there. Unlike most UsBm bands theirs no sense that they're going to bust into some sort of Godspeed You Black Emperor section, as it remains glaringly obvious this album is about the metal. They have to be doing something right as its an album I can keep playing over and over Moonsorrow has a similar effect on me and both are the best soundtrack to ride into glory on the battle field to. All four of the songs I enjoy listening to but I can only give this album a nine as it generally sticks to the same dynamics through out which they do rock mightily.