Migration by BosskRelease date: June 18, 2021
Label: Deathwish Inc
Bossk is an incredible band. Musically the weed drenched post-metal is fairly unique, whilst in a live setting the waft of incense can clear even the most determined stench of arse and armpit. Just as miraculous is the way the band has successfully added to its fanbase and back catalogue post reformation. Audio Noir was a triumphant return which saw the band continue the traction that had been started by the earlier .1 and .2 releases. Migration is another slab of excellence which increments on the band’s past and continues on the trajectory towards post-metal greatness.
Within the seven tracks are a few of Bossk’s finest moments yet. The two singles contain excellent collaborations and are songs I know I will be revisiting for a long time to come. ‘Menhir’ features the indomitable Johannes Persson from Cult of Luna whilst ‘HTV-3’ has the brilliantly distinctive vocals of Palm Reader’s Josh McKeown. Along with album closer ‘Lira’ these three tracks contain quite a few Bossk hallmarks, especially massive riffs served on a bed of hemp fumed dry ice which fall neither into standard stoner or post-metal worlds. These are riffs that could level any festival yet still have a stellar design and execution that provides longevity for repeated listens.
‘Lira’ is probably the track that is closest to a classic pre-split Bossk song as it stretches over nine minutes and spends a good time working towards the crescendo. The first six minutes of intriguing build up progresses from Mogwai post-rock to Year Of No Light post-metal before finally exploding into the Bossk stride of atmospheric riffage. The only thing missing are the commanding vocals of Sam Marsh and it will be interesting to see how the two aforementioned singles are handled live, Marsh is an exceptional vocalist but the collaborations are with two people with fairly distinctive sounds.
Three of the tracks fall under a more atmospheric/instrumental spectrum and although they are different most sit brilliantly in the album. Opener ‘White Stork’ pulses and throbs in the build up to ‘Menhir’ and then third track ‘Iter’ flows almost unnoticed from the previous sonic barrage into ‘HTV-3’. This wraps the first four songs together extremely well and in comparison, fifth track, ‘Kibo’ feels like a come down as its slow glacial plucking ebbs from the flow of ‘HTV-3’ into electronic post-rock number ‘Unberth’. ‘Unberth’ has a good deal of static build up before the pg.lost-esq synth takes hold, and so ‘Kibo’ sticks out a bit from that smooth flow of the first four tracks. That is about as much of a ‘flaw’ as I could possibly find with the album which shows the brilliance that Bossk has offered up here.
I am going to be diplomatic and say it would be impossible to call this, or any release, the best Bossk album as I don’t think such a thing will ever exist because of the genuine quality of the band’s output. Most certainly there are some of the band’s best tracks contained here but whether they fully trump previous efforts will be a debate with no conclusion. The one thing I do hope this album brings is a Cult of Luna, Bossk and Palm Reader tour to fully bring those singles to life on stage.