Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bölzer - Hero

By Calen Henry. Despite blowing up in the metal underground in 2013, Hero is Bölzer's first full length album. Their legacy is built on a single track, "Entranced by the Wolfshook", featuring a riff so good that it has overshadowed everything they have since released. It's impossible to talk about Bölzer without talking about that riff. "Entranced by the Wolfshook", in a single riff, is Bölzer.
By Calen Henry.


Despite blowing up in the metal underground in 2013, Hero is Bölzer's first full length album.

Their legacy is built on a single track, "Entranced by the Wolfshook", featuring a riff so good that it has overshadowed everything they have since released. It's impossible to talk about Bölzer without talking about that riff. "Entranced by the Wolfshook", in a single riff, is Bölzer. Their sound, raging tremolo riffs back flipping between extreme low end and high end supported by driving drums is both phenomenal and original.

Bölzer have since fallen victim to their own prowess. "Entranced by the Wolfshook" is un-followup-able, yet everything they do is checked against it. Reading reviews of Hero makes it seem as though the only way their full length debut could possibly have delivered is to have been comprised entirely of "Entranced by the Wolfshook", but also not because no one really wants that....

Photos by Pedro Roque.

I have to admit to myself and now the Internet at large that I never really liked either of their previous EPs, apart from the riff. The way their trademark riffing was spun out into songs pulled too much from the sides of death metal that don't appeal to me resulting in an overly busy cacophony supported by fantastic riffs.

Within the framework of Bölzer's sound Hero is a drastic change. The trademark sound is drawn out into cohesive songs that combine crushing riffs with elegant transitions and showcases an unabashed commitment to melody. I love it. Every change makes me like it more than their previous work. It's everything I didn't realize I wanted Bölzer to be.

The riffs are stretched out over entire tracks and themes are repeated between tracks giving the album incredible cohesion that rewards repeated listens. The vocals supporting these titanic compositions are much cleaner than before combining a sort of melodic bellowing, reminiscent of Troy Sanders' vocals in Mastodon, and a kind of commanding oration completing the martial Roman feel the band has toyed with since Aura.

Don't believe the anti-hype. Bölzer know exactly what they are doing, how to do it, and that no one else can do it.

Tagged with 2016, black metal, Bölzer, Calen Henry, death metal, Pedro Roque
4 comments:
  1. Most of these tunes are WAY too long, repeat the same parts too many times. It is hard to fathom they released it as is. Did they actually find minute after minute engaging!? Generally i like a lot about this but just as much turns me off.

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    1. Hey it's angry Glenn :) Actually I agree a little, not so much with the song lengths, but dropping one of the middle tracks would probably have made the album even better,

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  2. I don't really find it that excessive. I agree with Calen, actually. Some reviewers I respect dinged it pretty badly, but I like it quite a bit!

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    1. Same here. The "crooning" was panned by a lot, I fell for it the first I heard The Archer.

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