It is true. We currently live through a deluge of new metal. An ocean of mostly mediocre offerings, with a few cherries to pick out nonetheless. If you can detect them, that is.
Now, the Swiss Extreme Metal band Bölzer was once hailed to no end as the new up-and-coming underground metal gods. A revival of sorts. The ones that finally would rewrite that metallic history, the one that the metal fan crowd so desperately craved.
Yet and whilst their early work was (and still is) an attention-getter, Bölzer had their share of abject controversy. Mainly surrounding nazism, gross symbols tattoed onto skin, texts using right-leaning language, and an overall felt closeness to the right-wing scene. The band obviously and vehemently denied all of those allegations.1) And hey, they’re still on Spotify. Despite what some press articles suggest, written by people who think that good metal needs to be selected by doctrine. Sigh.
Now, the band enjoyed good success until the 2016 full-length Hero happened. This one was so unhinged, it just never made it onto the RMR blog. Perhaps we should have let it happen, just to add a 1/10 or so to our stats for sport. Even so, the RMR deck crew gave the record a thorough listen. But this thing just sounded like horribly disjointed atmospherics, propped on a helluva lot of terrific riffing, and atrocious wailing this band calls singing.
Yet again, KzR (Okoi Therry Jones) wields that 10-string guitar like a fucking war axe. It is otherworldly, how that super-tight, menacing riffing emerges from one side. Backed up a pretty sturdy drums by HzR (Fabian Wyrsch) from the other. Only how they would be able to so genially fuck up some trve talent and garble it into such a horrific mess on Hero will forever be a mystery to me.
So, the question is, how will their newest piece Lese Majesty pan out?
First, do take note that we are in EP territory again. Which might be better for these two artists anyway. Because straight away, the new album really reasserts some authority with increased maturity.
You’ll get a mix of Black and Post Black Metal and Death Metal in all its variations. In short, all ingredients that make up a hearty Extreme Metal offering. Some weird mix of an unholy, totally blackened Fleshgod Apocalypse and the grunty sturdiness of Abbath.
KzR‘s sturdy riffing still delights and Lese Majesty gorges with tasty hooks all over the place. If anything, the guitars are even more blistering than before. And yet again, the growls and yells are on the acceptable side. Whereas the clear voice barely makes it over that proverbial red line, only just barely.
And I get the idea of powerful metal, the one delivered with gusto and atomic force. But to cram a track like A Shepherd In Wolven Skin full of any and all Extreme Metal elements because – well – you can, will not add to its allure. It just will make your track sound like one of those overstuffed horror teddy bears with a clown’s mask. Oh, and adding whistling on any track will just not do. You will just end up sounding like Axl fucking Rose during his heyday. And that’s not a good thing.
But I must admit, Bölzer have a knack for a type of psychedelic Extreme Metal that is a seldom pleasure on this blog. True to their credo, Lese Majesty gallivants across any and all metallic soundscapes the band sees fit. And this is how metal should always be lived. Because all that almost religious hair-splitting of one giant genre into a gazillion of sub-genres is often not helpful.
So, has Hero finally been avenged? Well, it appears that somebody listened. Lese Majesty is surely not without its issues and fissures, but this whole gigantic metal offering is much more mature than before. And sometimes outright tasty.
It also exudes that sweet pull of Extreme Metal that, in all its luscious dissonance, always asks for more. Oh, and this is one of those very rare EPs that managed – against our internal and sacred rulez – to extract a full review from RMR. And that’s yet another brownie point right there.
|1.||As they all do when challenged. Once their balls are getting squeezed, their minds usually follow quickly. -Ed.|