Bearstorm play progressive black metal, but if you haven’t heard them before I can all but guarantee that they don’t sound as you’d expect them to.
Their previous album Americanus was an unusual record. A very good one, but a very individual one that was probably too much of an acquired taste for most. A shame, but their loss, (whoever they are), is our gain.
Bearstorm, (still a great name), have now returned, ready to wow us with their inventiveness over another 24 minutes of their unique take on progressive music.
I think I’ll just regurgitate my description of what they sound like from the review of Americanus – “The music is a curious mix of progressive wanderings, blackened bite, technical death metal jazz-wizardry, post-metal experimentalism and Southern sludge.” Phew. It’s quite a mixture of styles.
Essentially, I suppose, think of what Mastodon might sound like if they played black metal. It’s a rough-and-ready description, but it fits as a starting point.
Do you know what? I think that Bearstorm are improving with age. Americanus held together incredibly well considering the diverse influences and content that it combined, and if anything on Biophobia the band sound even more coherent with their output. They have further refined their style, so that the various elements they wantonly chuck into the mix are more easily digested and have better flow.
They also have a bit of a stronger recording than their previous album. Biophobia sounds a bit more three dimensional, as if the songs have had more of a chance to fill in and inhabit the space that they create. It all makes for a very tasty and delicious feast, I can tell you.
Holding it all together is the blackened rasp of the singer. This is the most obviously consistent black metal aspect of Bearstorm in many ways, and his traditional take on the style is wonderfully at odds with the distinctly non-traditional music; it works like a blackened charm.
Yes, I think I prefer this to Americanus. Very, very nice. It definitely bodes well for the future.
May all of your storms have bears in them!