Black/death ‘n’ roll band Bolzer premiered a track that sounds like the pretentious hipster occult version of the Beach Boys from their upcoming debut LP, Hero. Their prior EPs had a few creative riffs in boring, meandering , and more boring alt rock songs. Rather than increasing the amount of actually meaningful musical content or improving their songwriting skills, Bolzer have tailored themselves to target the hipsters consuming the idiot safe-space pseudo-metal promulgated by Profound Lore, Vice, and MetalSucks. Will the bearded, flannel cutoff short short wearers be grossly offended by the runes tattooed onto Bolzer’s beer bellies?
Today, Iron Bonehead Productions sets November 25th as the international release date for Bölzer’s massively anticipated debut album, Hero. Hailing from Switzerland, Bölzer are one of the most unique entities the metal underground has birthed in years. For one, Bölzer are proudly and resolutely a duo, using the barest essentials of voice, guitar, and drums and yet creating one of the densest, most world-eating sounds around. For another, the duo have wisely and patiently parceled out their recordings, with a lone nine songs to date across three records – 2012’s Roman Acupuncture demo, 2013’s Iron Bonehead-released Aura EP, and 2014’s Soma EP – judiciously chronicling the band’s evolution into one of the most critically acclaimed metal bands in recent memory. And yet, “critical acclaim” has never been a part of Bölzer’s agenda: their commitment is to their art alone, but it just so happens that word-of-mouth built organically (and feverishly), especially on the strength of their devastating, soul-draining live performances, where they can recreate every aspect of their records in the flesh.
And at long last, flesh is given to a full-length album, and it bears the characteristically idiosyncratic title Hero. Here, in many ways, Bölzer break from their past. Rich ‘n’ resonant clean vocals often take center stage, lending an alternately mournful/majestic quality to the duo’s earth-juddering bulldoze. Likewise, the production across Hero is categorically cleaner than their grime-coated EPs, which dynamically enhances the spiraling melodicism that explodes into being here. Suitably, the songwriting itself takes on dazzling new contours, wending ‘n’ winding with even more fluidity – and certainly more daring – than the band’s epic-yet-effortless EPs. And yet, for however seemingly radical these developments are – ultimately, they shouldn’t be that “radical” in the hands of capable and sincere artisans – it all sounds like Bölzer, both what they were, what they can be, and most especially, what they currently are. Every aesthetic suggestion, every subtle nuance, every thing left unsaid in the past: here on Hero, it’s all harnessed into a molten maelstrom that’s ever more unique (and alien) because it’s unshackled itself from expectation. It is, in a word, heroic. But what is the meaning of Hero? Discover for yourself, plunge into that maelstrom, and let Bölzer be your guide. The first path to enlightenment can be heard HERE, at Iron Bonehead’s Soundcloud, with the track “I am III.” Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Bölzer’s Hero
2. The Archer
6. I Am III
7. Spiritual Athleticism