Bearstorm are from the US and play Progressive Black Metal. This is their second album.
Bearstorm. Say it again, slowly. Bearstorm. Fantastic name. I was expecting something utterly ferocious with a name like that, but Bearstom are nothing if not surprising. They do have a ferocious element, but for the most part there’s a whole lot of other stuff going on here.
The music is a curious mix of Progressive wanderings, Blackened bite, Technical Death Metal Jazz-wizardry, Post-Metal experimentalism and Southern Sludge.
Their sound is pleasingly hard to pigeon-hole actually. The Progressive Metal influence is apparent from the start and infuses everything else at a deep level. The Black/Death/Sludge/Post-Metal influences in their sound take their cues from this and the band have interesting music at the very core of their being.
I suppose…Mastodon meets Enslaved meets Opeth meets Inter Arma meets Ephel Duath meets Pyrrhon…
The songs are varied and individual affairs. There’s a lot of ideas on display and Bearstorm never shy away from being different or going their own direction. It’s to their credit, as too many bands simply ape what has gone before them, so when a band like this comes along it’s a real pleasure to see them doing something different form the norm and attempting to forge their own sound.
Vocally the singer has a largely Blackened scream that’s supplemented with pitch-black growls on occasion. In many ways the guitars are the focal point of Americanus and the vocals provide an undercurrent to these. They’re done well though so there’s no real complaints from me on this score.
Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into Americanus, to the point that the band have re-recorded the entire album for maximum effect; this is a re-recorded and re-issued version of their 2013 album. Having never heard the original version all I can say is that this version sounds pretty damn good.
An interesting, exciting and fresh-sounding record; Americanus is more than deserving of your attention.
Favourite Track: Glacial Relic II. An epic that’s Progressively atmospheric and even contains a Country influence. Amazing.