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Bison B.C. - Dark Ages CD (album) cover

DARK AGES

Bison B.C.

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.39 | 8 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Dark Ages' - Bison B.C (8/10)

As a band hailing from my hometown of Vancouver that has recently some into a bit of sucess, it's safe to say that I have been watching this band and their rise to fame in anticipation. Having seen them live multiple times before, they are one of the most energetic and heavy bands out there in the metal scene. Fueled by their self proclaimed 'love of the riff,' Bison focuses their talent around creating thick and heavy riffs that wouldn't sound out of place as a soundtrack to a night of heavy drinking and metal excess. This heavy metal archetype aside however, Bison reinforces this primal rage with something many of its contemporaries seem to have overlooked; a sense of intelligence and buried sophistication to their sound.

With the 2010 album 'Dark Ages,' Bison has even further developed their punk and thrash- ridden energy into something more unexpected than their first major recording, 'Quiet Earth.' From the first few seconds of the opener 'Stressed Elephant' alone, there can be heard; an attention to gated guitar effects, a steady build up of sound, and even a beautifully executed horn section before the guitars kick into full gear. Also, with songs topping the eight minute mark, Bison is certainly not a band that's content with releasing mediocre, or half-baked material.

While the shorter songs still keep the ball-breaking heaviness alive, the album meets it's winning streak with the more involved pieces; specifically 'Stressed Elephant,' and the epic closer 'Wendigo Pt. III.' The latter of these songs is a continuation of a song suite that began on 'Quiet Earth,' and those who are familiar with the debut may agree with me that the first two parts of the 'Wendigo' saga were among the most memorable moments of the debut. Not only does the track work well to conclude an album in which the preceding six tracks set the bar high, but its a remarkable way to apparently wrap up the epic.

With song titles like 'Two Day Booze,' you can be damned sure that 'Dark Ages' will not be sharing the CD shelf with alot of the other pretentious, daiquiri-sipping bands that have plagued the heavy metal scene lately. While the album maintains alot of the same tones and general sounds throughout, each song offers something unique. Whether it be a bluesy acoustic introduction, a horn section or even the sort of atmospherics that brought bands like Neurosis up the ranks, Bison will be sure to surprise, and a band that is certain to go on to great things in the coming years.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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