Album Review: Bölzer – Aura

Bolzer - Aura

Bölzer [Switzerland]
Iron Bonehead Productions
Black/Death Metal

Prior to this, my knowledge of Swiss metal is limited only to the rapidly declining Eluveitie but perhaps with the permeation of more extreme genres around the world, it isn’t really surprising finding a gem like Bölzer out of the region as well. Despite the band’s French black metal-styled cosmic-themed artwork that reminds one of avant-garde bands like Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell OmegaBölzer presents a rather different style of barbarity on their EP, simply titled Aura.

The band quickly presents a huge sound and spacey atmosphere with opening track CME, and for the first few moments or so, one is quickly reminded of such exploits by bands like Pseudogod or Incantation with the crushing intensity that is present in the music, with guitarist KzR unleashing his fury through low-end trem-picked riffs. But quickly enough the band proves themselves to be a more unique act than just another Incantation or Grave Miasma clone, as they include some rather unique riffing and playing styles, especially on the guitars of KzR. Out of nowhere, KzR brings in some rather melodic and groovy playing, heavily contrasting the mood that goes on around, yet having the effect of adding to the overall madness that is on the album, this especially evident on Entranced by the Wolfshook. And this continues throughout the rest of the album, and this definitely helps to put the band apart from other similar acts of late. The epic 10 minute closer The Great Unifier definitely pushes the band’s songwriting and playing to the limits as well, and leaves a deep impression on the listener.

The blackened touch in the music is also extremely clear, and the usage of dissonant chords easily remind one of the weirdness of French bands such as Deathspell, messing with the listener’s head and adding to the coldness and bleakness that is in the music. Furthermore, the vocal execution of KzR on Aura increases the desperation that one feels in listening to the record, often alternating between tortured growls and shrieks and a more desperate-sounding shout.

Certainly, this has resulted in a listening experience that is rather unique, and is something that is personally unheard of before with the entire myriad of influences and elements from different genres that Bölzer has thrown into the mix.

Bölzer on the internet:
Iron Bonehead Productions

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