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BaK - Sculpture CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.13 | 17 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars BAK is a duo from Sydney, Australia who released their first album SCULPTURE in 2011 and to date is only available as a digital release. The duo of Beau (guitar / bass / baglama) and Kit (drums / percussion / keys / piano) are the two members who write, compose and arrange the compositions. While the band like to tease about the meaning of their name suggesting that they could possibly have taken it from an ancient Egyptian sculptor or from a Holocaust survivor turned painter or even a metaphysical flower, i surmise that it is actually he first initials of Beau And Kit which when written properly would be seen as BaK seems more likely. The band is famous more for their live shows that can have 30 to 100 extra people on stage as they include large symphonic orchestras that cover strings, brass and woodwinds, operatic and choir vocals as well as Middle Eastern and Indian ethnic musicians presenting all kinds of percussive and stringed instruments.

On SCULPTURE this band excels at creating melodic Middle Eastern musical scales that add progressive metal to the mix. What we get is a nice melodically driven symphonic metal type of sound that focuses more on the folk instrumentation than metal most for the majority of the time but does allow the metal have its time in the sun as well. Some of the lead vocal parts on the album remind me of James Hetfield on Metallica's black album. There is a lot of attention paid toward two male vocalists harmonizing melody lines and backed up by all kinds of instrumental solos. The compositions are quite catchy with bellydance type grooves and percussive drum circles providing the backbone as the rhythm section while the vocals and symphonic touches deliver the hooks with the addition of an exotic ethnic flair. Some of the vocal trade offs can bring Andrew Lloyd Weber's works to mind as well.

While the metal elements are only one ingredient in this atmospheric ethnic smorgasbord, when it is allowed off its leash can deliver some nice heavy riffs and grooves. While the vocals mostly reside on the clean side, during some of the metal outbursts death growls are allowed to get down and dirty as well. This part reminds me a bit of Therion because the female operatic singers are harmonizing with the death growls and distorted metal riffs. There are even occasional rip roaring guitar solos but only when the energy is elevated to the point where some contrast is needed. This is a pretty cool album that is excellently executed with all the elements on board working quite well together. Anyone interested in the harder rock and metal bands like Secret Chiefs 3, Orphaned Land or Myrath who fuse Middle Eastern and Indian ethnic elements with metal will absolutely love this since BAK mix it all together perfectly and always keep the prospect of too many chefs in the kitchen from getting out of hand.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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