Bölzer’s latest offering of unique metaphysical black/death metal is a 2-track EP titled Soma.
It’s almost humurous, in a sardonic way, that Soma begins out of nowhere, with vocals and then instruments immediately playing a riff, and no build-up or introduction; it’s as though Bölzer has forgotten that they unleashed the awe of Aura, and left the metal world desperately wanting more. Soma is another taste of divinity; but at under 20 minutes, it seems the world will be left wanting once again.
The EP begins with “Steppes” (track 1) and a fairly traditional sounding death metal part. Eventually, there’s a pause, except for a simple tremelo-picked guitar part; soon, the music moves into an almost ancient-folk-influenced blast. From this moment onwards, Soma forms into a different beast; one much less of the mortal world.
“Labyrinthian Graves” (track 2) suits its title, and I think it’s the better of the 2 tracks (although they’re both great). It plays through like a trip in a dark maze of the after-world, with twisted passages of unknown destination. The spoken words at around 3:20 seem to draw the listener upwards, trying to make the way clear, but we are soon re-covered by the clouds of confusion and darkness that enthrall the rest of this track. This is my favourite part on Soma, and the way it works with the following riff, and the staccato-type drumming that goes with that, is astounding. If Bölzer wanted to create a terrifying out-of-body experience, they succeeded.
The sound on the EP is moderately harsh, adding to the ghostly atmosphere of the music; I don’t think a warmer production would have complimented the songs. The sound, the atmosphere, the music, and the actual playing of the parts, all meld together wonderfully. The instrumentation is ideal; when something’s done well, you shouldn’t even realise it without careful inspection; Soma is an example of that platitude.
Soma contains as much aggressive black/death metal as it does atmosphere. As always, Bölzer have blended extreme styles seamlessly, creating something that fans of varying genres should thoroughly enjoy.
This short EP is bound to be amongst the best of 2014; and the only way Bölzer could have improved would have been with a full-length; please give us an album guys! The world will thank you.
Below is “Steppes”, track 1 from Soma: