Summoning the Bygones
Jordanian “dark oriental metal” band Bilocate has certainly come a long way since their formation back in the early 2000s, having 2 full length albums under their belts, multiple endorsements and a deal under famed experimental label, Code666 Records. This year sees the band release their rather highly anticipated third full length album, Summoning the Bygones, and the band has included a couple of surprises on the record, including guest vocalist, famed musician/producer Dan Swano and an adaptation of a Paradise Lost track.
Living up to their oriental roots, Summoning the Bygones opens with a traditional/oriental-inspired lead guitar greeting the listener on The Tragedy Within, though the band soon goes into a slightly more aggressive mode, and introduce the listener to their flavoured doom/death metal. The band proudly wears their Middle-Eastern influences proudly on their sleeve, as these oriental-sounding riffs and lead guitar works are constantly present on the album. The music on Summoning the Bygones is mostly melodic, and the doom side of the band shines with the emotional passages that are included throughout the album, at times sounding like a faster-paced and less depressive version of bands like Draconian. And these are displayed through the usage of the keyboards and the slower segments that drench the music with a tinge of sadness. The keyboards in particular help to create a beautiful atmosphere in the music as well. Softer moments are also used to create a high tension atmosphere in the music, like on Beyond Inner Sleep. While the band boasts Dan Swano’s presence on the album as a guest vocalist on the tracks Hypia and A Desire to Leave, the surprise comes in the form of him doing mostly clean vocals a la Nightingale style rather than his gruff growls on his works on Bloodbath and the eclectic Pan.Thy.Monium.
The highlight of the album perhaps comes in the form of the 20 minute epic, A Desire to Leave, broken down into three different segments, and writing such a long track is by no means an easy feat to achieve for most bands. The three different segments of the track depicts three somewhat different emotional states, with each segment containing different musical styles, providing a nice rollercoaster ride for the listener.
Despite the focus on the feel and emotions of the music, the individual musicians on the album also constantly get to display their technical abilities throughout. Drummer Ahmad was personally one of the more notable ones, being able to transit between aggressive, technical segments to softer and somewhat gentler moments with ease. The excellent production quality of Jens Bogren is immediately noticeable, with the crisp and sounds that each of the instruments have, especially on the drums and the lead guitars. The rumbling bass of Hani is also constantly audible in the mix, and his playing style at times remind listeners of bands such as Opeth with their progressive and somewhat jazzy style.
While the album is rather long, clocking in at almost 1 hour and 15 minutes, and the progression of the music can be rather slow, each minute of the album is utilised purposefully by the band, making Summoning the Bygones a fulfilling album for fans of doom/death metal looking for an album with a fresh and unique take on the genre, yet not deviating too far from its musical roots.