The San Fransisco based band, Bosse-de-Nage, was one of the acts to popularize the post-black metal style in its current form. It all begun with their release of their debut, self-titled record in 2010, with the band showcasing not only a way of combining the nihilistic black metal tone with the haze of shoegaze, but rather a more holistic approach to further black metal as a whole. Aspects of post-hardcore fueled the band's ferocious renditions, while post-rock structures created imposing soundscapes. At the same time the guitar playing and progressions of the band titled towards an indie rock characteristic and the band's most furious moments featured a screamo influence.
Through this surprising, for the time, set of influences Bosse-de-Nage continued to release great records, in II and III, released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. However, the record that really saw them fulfill their potential was All Fours, their sophomore release for Profound Lore. Without reinventing themselves, Bosse-de-Nage produced a record that encapsulated all the attributes that made their sound enticing. Long form compositions influenced the post-rock motifs and met with the cataclysmic black metal riffs and the post-hardcore energy and complexity to produce a stellar record. Today they return to their original home in The Flenser to produce the next chapter of their impressive career in their fifth full-length Further Still.
With their new album Bosse-de-Nage make a deviation from their trademark approach to post-black metal. The shoegaze element has subsided and in its place the post-hardcore structures and progressions prevail. As a result the record feels like this unstoppable force, something that becomes very clear from the moment opening track “The Trench” comes in, paving the way forward through a blur of blastbeats and post-metal riffs. Within this post-hardcore manifestation, the technical aptitude of Bosse-de-Nage can truly shine. It results in Further Still becoming a brutal, direct and edgy offering, which is presented in a very complex and multilayered manner. The drumming of Harry Cantwell in particular is nothing short of stellar, adding to the energy, urgency and intensity of this work with his speed and accuracy. The breaks he lays down add to the erratic progression of the tracks, and when combined with the inharmonious elements of tracks like “Down Here”, they enhance the asphyxiating environment the record cultivates.
While the record indulges in this no holds barred rendition, Bosse-de-Nage still explore the trajectories of post-metal and black metal. Here, the continuous and monotonous riffing of the second wave of black metal meet with the imposing sonic motifs of post-metal to craft a majestic result. “Listless” channels the inherent dissonance of black metal and combines it with the post-metal grandeur. Tilted more towards the post-metal element one of the highlights of the record, “My Shroud”, present a cataclysmic edge that is enhanced by an injection of black metal malice to craft an imposing wall of sound. In a more atmospheric manner, the band unleashed “Crux,” dressing the track in a brilliant dark aura to enhance its ritualistic pacing. More interestingly, within the post-hardcore motifs, Bosse-de-Nage display a more old-school spirit that was not as prevalent in their previous works. Both “Down Here” and “Crux” feature moments when this air of mystique is introduced, through the repetitive bass lines, letting on an ominous tone. It is a sound quite reminiscent to the likes of Slint and their darker adventures.
With Further Still Bosse-de-Nage make a statement regarding the state of the post-black metal scene. In reducing the shoegaze element and confining their songwriting to shorter and more direct renditions, they present a record that arrives with an unbelievable amount of intensity, hatred and animosity. The performance of the band is erratic, and with just the exception of “Dolorous Interlude” the band does not offer any respite through this exhilarating trip. However, I must say that their previous works did present a more multifaceted and interesting offering, but it is very difficult not to admire the sheer intensity that radiates through Further Still.
8.0 / 10
Posted Jan. 9, 2005, 11:43 a.m.
Above this Fire's debut effort for Life Sentence Records entitled In Perspective is now available for pre-order though RevHQ. The album's street date is March 8th. The tracklisting ...
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