Slow Burn by BosphorusRelease date: September 25, 2020
Label: Trepanation Recordings
There are a few post-metal moments that I will never forget, such as my first experiences hearing Oceanic, Panopticon or The Galilean Satellites. On a slightly different scale I will always remember discovering What The Blood Revealed. After seeing titans such as ISIS sonically laying waste to Glasgow I was ecstatic to find a local post-metal band that produced such fine music. Along with two EPs the band also left behind the 2012 Echoes and Dust album of the year, Harbour of Devils. It was disappointing at the time but fortunately the demise of that band has now produced a far more aggressive and darker beast in Bosphorus, which has penned a monstrous debut album in Slow Burn.
It is fair to say that, members aside, the only thing Bosphorus really shares with its former band is a knack of creating sublime music. The atmosphere here comes from a sludgier edge of post-metal and a cloak of danger smoulders over the recording. It is only after the slow battering annihilation of ’Silhouette’ and ‘Strain of Thought’ that a synth undercurrent becomes quite evident. It is not intrusive or overpowering and adds an extra tonality. When you revisit the first two tracks you notice it is the part of the beef that really allows the guitar to attack. Similarly, on ‘Crooked Path’ the synth provides the groove which the guitar then feeds on and adds a huge depth to the dark post-metal.
The real girth of the music is still the guitar of Stuart Teager, bass of Scott Hamilton and the marvellous drumming of Michael Wiseman. The title track hits as a real stand out as Teager produces some stunning vocal work creating an atmosphere which complements the music beneath by rising to a catchy yet crushing crescendo at the midway point. ‘Weapon’ is another devastatingly good moment hitting off with a riff Earthtone9 could easily have slipped onto ArcTanGent.
The beauty of this album is the precision of its pace and execution. When the six tracks have come and gone nothing feels like it was overworked or repeated, and each track has highlights that are not present in others. It really is a wonderous achievement which sounds perfect in thanks to the work of Chris Fielding and James Plotkin who have been flawless in their recent endeavours. The other huge positive is the rise of another great UK label in Trepanation Recordings who have been sweeping up some great UK artists. I didn’t think a band from Glasgow would be able to replace What The Blood Revealed and it is absolutely fitting that some of its founding members have managed to better their previous project without covering the same ground.