Faces of the Bog – Ego Death (self-released, 04 October 2016 / vinyl DHY Records, 22 September 2017)
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Band from Chicago, influences are a blend of all things heavy (including a generous helping of noise rock and post-metal), and they just happen to be produced by Sanford Parker.
It doesn’t matter to me how many times they keep remaking this same movie, I’ll keep coming back to see it every time. Here’s Faces of The Bog‘s debut album, which they released in fall 2016. Tour dates for Ohio and western Pennsylvania THIS WEEKEND, plus a few more throughout the midwest over the rest of the summer, can be found down in the comments section.
The first impression one gets while listening to the instrumental opening track “Precipice”: that ringing, harmonic bass intertwined with a slightly overdriven, chorusy guitar all propelled forward by drumming that’s very intense and yet incredibly understated; and after building up for several minutes, all of these parts collectively reach a lofty peak — everything here brings to mind the long instrumental passages of recent Tool albums. That impression doesn’t just stop there, either — from the somewhat more intricate combinations of riffs in “Slow Burn” to the lengthy exploration with layer upon layer of spacey-flangey-phasey-fuzzy stuff that makes up “The Serpent and the Dagger” to the complex rhythms that open up “The Weaver.” And especially closing track “Blue Lotus” which starts off with a rather thoughtful, minimalist vibe with various different guitar parts chiming in here and there; a similar build and peak to “Precipice” over its eleven-minute-plus running time; but most of all that a repeated arpeggiated guitar sequence that comes in around the 5:00 mark.
However, there is far more to this album and this band — and far more interesting twists and variations on their sound. The first song is followed by the much heavier, deep chuggy death-sludge riffs of “Drifter in the Abyss,” which also presents the record’s first vocals: hoarse screamed parts trading lines back and forth. Some of the other songs — such as “Slow Burn” and “The Weaver” — bring in some clean vocals that give off more of a post-grunge vibe, intermingled with the hoarse yelling and hardcore-sludge roaring, while the title track layers several different layers of vocals together. That song, and its predecessor “The Serpent and the Dagger” are both loaded up with guitar solos, and feature the band branching out into some trippy psychedelia. Altogether a pretty fun listen, and certainly a promising introduction to a newly discovered band!
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