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BOLUS

Neo-Prog • Canada


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Bolus biography
Canadian act BOLUS was formed by students Nick Karch (guitars, keyboards, lead vocals) and Mat Keselman (drums and percussion, backing vocals) in 2002, and with the subsequent addition of Richard Frankel (bass, bass pedals) to their ranks the trio soon became a true to life band project. Annual participations of Battle Of The Bands contensts would follow, and in 2004 the trio hit the recording studio. These sessions eventually lead to the release of their debut album Watch Your Step in 2005.

While continuing honing their craft, a few line-up alterations were in store for this young band as Frankel decided to leave. Karch and Keselman opted to continue their project however, and opted to record and release the second full length production to be issued using the Bolus moniker themselves. This process was finalized with the release of Delayed Reaction towards the end of 2010.

2011 have seen Bolus stabilize as a band unit again, with the addition of Daniel Avner (bass) and Kyle Grounds (keyboards) to their ranks. The latest news from them is that they are in the process of re-recording their 2005 debut album.

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Buy BOLUS Music


Watch Your StepWatch Your Step
Bolus Music
Audio CD$23.69
Sonic SchematicSonic Schematic
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$13.82
Mechanoid VocationMechanoid Vocation
CDBY 2005
Audio CD$197.71
TriangulateTriangulate
Bolus Music
Audio CD$23.69
$21.32 (used)
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BOLUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BOLUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Watch Your Step
2005
3.49 | 11 ratings
Delayed Reaction
2010
3.41 | 11 ratings
Watch Your Step
2011
3.70 | 25 ratings
Triangulate
2013

BOLUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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BOLUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Triangulate by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 25 ratings

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Triangulate
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Canadian trio BOLUS was formed ten years ago. They have three albums to their name so far, as well as a remastered and reissued version of their 2005 debut album as part of their discography. "Triangulate" is their most recent studio production, and was self-released by Bolus in 2013.

Canadian trio Bolus explores a melodic and accessible variety of progressive rock on their third album "Triangulate", managing to blend harmonic and dramatic details in a fine balance and flavoring the proceedings quite nicely and liberally with atmospheric sounds and textures. Fans of late 80's Rush and Porcupine Tree strike me as a key audience on this occasion, and especially those among them also fond of occasional mainstream oriented exploits of bands like Coldplay as well as the somewhat more intense and dramatic excursions of bands like The Mars Volta.

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 Triangulate by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 25 ratings

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Triangulate
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

3 stars I gotta say, I'm not really a fan of this band or album. I love neo-prog, but I don't think this band really falls into that sub-genre. There are moments on this album that sound exactly like moments on Porcupine Tree's "In Absentia" and also "Deadwing". That should give you an idea of what sound this band uses.

There was a band a few years back named Abigail's Ghost that pulled a similar stunt. They were basically a mix of Porcupine Tree and Genesis, but at least they had some original ideas and blew my mind with some of the arrangements. Bolus, on the other hand, just sounds like PT and any alternative group you could name (maybe Radiohead?). I don't normally like to fault bands for having influences, but many of the melodies and arrangements seem to be straight from PT. It gets bad enough that I was able to name some of the songs that were copied, and I don't even like PT that much.

All in all, this is a good album. It's not great. It's not essential. It's just good, and I guess that's okay. Neo-prog, this is not. Heavy prog or crossover prog, maybe.

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 Triangulate by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 25 ratings

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Triangulate
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by GorillaMunch

5 stars You got to check these guys out!

I had the pleasure of seeing them live at ROSFest 2013. They completely blew the crowd and I away. So after the show I bought this album and met with them. Incredibly nice guys, they even signed it for me.

The album its self is a mix of many things. This isn't the pretentious type of prog. It is very down to earth, like the band themselves. Tracks range from heavy to soft with the playing being top notch the whole way through. So if you got the itch to find new music, check these guys out. In short, it is a beautiful mix of genres that will definitely satisfy your ears

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 Triangulate by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 25 ratings

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Triangulate
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by Progatron

4 stars Terrific new disc from Bolus. These guys have a great energy and have further developed their own sound with "Triangulate". They never stray too far in one direction, always conscious of grounding themselves in the song itself and maintaining the flow, which provides a good, full-album listen. Well-crafted songs with foot-tapping playing and - as always - a real likeable, singalong quality to the lead and harmony vocals. At the time of writing this review, the band are booked to play RoSfest 2013, and that appearance is sure to gain them more fans and exposure. "Triangulate" is a worthy addition to your collection - it's so refreshing to hear young guys like these producing original music of such high quality.... this bodes well for the future of prog and prog-related acts. Recommended!

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 Watch Your Step by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 11 ratings

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Watch Your Step
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Powerful Prog trio from Vaughan, Toronto, formed in 2003 after the meeting of Nick Karch, Mat Keselman and Richard Frankel at the local Secondary School.After several live concerts in in the greater Toronto area Bolus entered Wit's End Studios in late 2004 to work on their debut ''Watch Your Step'', eventually released in 2005.The same album was re-recorded and re-released in 2011 with new arrangements, featuring new bassist Daniel Avner in the place of Frankel.

The proposal of Bolus is fresh, modern and energetic Progressive/Art Rock, somewhere in the middle of the road between the powerful style of RUSH and TILES and the more refined approach of SPOCK'S BEARD.''Watch your step'' is full of short tracks with rather simplistic structures but always performed with an artistic mood.Typical guitar/bass/drums dynamic trio, where the music is driven by the guitars but has also a very strong rhythm section to support it.Catchy and memorable choruses, powerful guitar moves, strong riffs and expressive vocals are always in Bolus' menu.But the tracks contain also plenty of great breaks and changing climates to reveal a highly progressive nature.The very short ones though are too commercial and rather uninspired to be appreciated, stick with the longer ones to have a very nice listening experience.

RUSH, TILES and ENCHANT are the best bands regarding this powerful Prog style, but now you can add Bolus in the list.Passionate guitar-based Prog/Art Rock of decent quality, definitely recommended.

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 Watch Your Step by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 11 ratings

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Watch Your Step
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

3 stars When I was listening to this album for the first time I couldn't believe that BOLUS are a duo. Okay, ehhh ... the truth is Yes and No - this exclusively seems to apply to their recent studio work. When playing on a stage they are a quartet in fact. However, only multi-instrumentalist Nick Karch and drummer Mat Keselman are named to be responsible for 'Watch Your Step', This album was recorded in 2004 by this group hailing from the Toronto region in Canada ... but they decided to make an update from their debut. It was re-recorded, and at least technically there is nothing to complain.

Day Of Discovery represents an excellent startup. Dynamic, joy of playing, trickiness, there's a lot to mention when thinking of progressive rock terms. A typical neo prog tune as a matter of fact - close to Jadis to give a clue. Nick Karch's voice is not that eclectic but unique in any case, provided with recognition value - a real trademark. Given with a Rush touch Vow is an exceptional exemplar too, alongside with In Conclusion where the lively percussion work convinces especially, a heavily kicking bass drum inclusively.

And then Magistrate makes my day. Great implementation - the intro shows a chime leading into a piano touch - wonderful! The piano lines are simple, highly effective though. Featuring twists and turns this is of a complex nature, grooves a lot, appears accessible anyhow. "I'm falling down ..." - and there's even some chance to sing along. Hell ... if this would continue on that high level.

The other five songs aren't able to move me really, tending towards standard rock they sound too harmless according to my taste. So this leaves me with ambivalent feelings a bit - 'Watch Your Step' is not consistent enough in its entirety when it comes to the compositional aspect. Apart from that - 'Magistrate' for example has climbed up into my IPhone Top Ten in the meanwhile, often heard, I like that one very much. Now this points out my conclusion - give it a try, there's definitely something to explore here.

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 Watch Your Step by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 11 ratings

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Watch Your Step
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Watch Your Step' - Bolus (7/10)

Although it cannot necessarily be considered a follow-up to their second album 'Delayed Reaction', Bolus' 'Watch Your Step' witnesses a noted improvement of the band's craft. Not so much a new album as it is a re-release, 'Watch Your Step' was actually their first album back in 2005, now rerecorded and benefiting from the experience gained over the six years in between. It may be safely assumed then that the 2011 version is much closer to the way that Bolus would have wanted the music to sound. Treating it as a continuation of Bolus' work, this Canadian duo ventures into more technically proficient territory than they did on 'Delayed Reaction'. Although Rush is still certainly an influence, Bolus have stepped out from underneath the shadow and indifferent distinction as an emulator, and into something pretty great. Once again, the songwriting may not be quite new, but fans of Rush and melodically-inclined prog will find 'Watch Your Step' a fine piece of Canadian rock.

Use of more conventional song structures in prog has become much less taboo in recent decades, and Bolus capitalizes on this, reinforcing strong performance standards with pleasant melody and concise compositions. Although classic progressive hard rock is the driving influence between Bolus' music, there is a sense of the more modern alternative rock derivative, seeping into the way their vocal leads are formed. The single-worthy 'Shadow Stalker' would not sound out of place on a college rock station; a to-the-point song built around its instantly memorable chorus. The band does make a stab at longer-form compositions with the atmospheric 'Vow' and prog metal finale 'In Conclusion...', but Bolus focus most of their album on more rock-oriented numbers. Rush's 'Fly By Night' is a good reference point for where these guys take their songwriting.

The most impressive thing this time around is not so much the songwriting, but moreso how Bolus are able to cram so much prog into what would otherwise be decent 3-5 minute rock songs. To clarify, the duo will often break into excellent instrumental fury in between verses and choruses. Surprisingly, this almost always pays off in the music's favour, helped in no small part due to the fact that Nick Karch and Mat Keselman are both great musicians. At times, their instrumental performance can feel a little cold and mechanical, but this is offset by their vocal work, which fits the music perfectly.

It seems strange to say- considering that this music has technically been around for years before 'Delayed Reaction'- but it does feel as if Bolus have taken a proud step forward with 'Watch Your Step'. Their performance and production both pull a tighter standard here, and while I cannot find the original to compare it to, I'll place my bets and say that the 2011 version probably trumps their debut in every way they strove for. With this skill now demonstrated, all that's left is to hear if this high quality will carry over to fresh material.

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 Delayed Reaction by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.49 | 11 ratings

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Delayed Reaction
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by adargath

4 stars In the quest to find progressive rock bands that have a more commercial approach but retain integrity in their compositions and technique, is good to find groups that do not try to change the game or be the next Dream Theater. Just a band that want's to play their music and show it to the world.

Bolus and Their Delayed Reaction album fit the definition described above.

And in truth I am very happy to have found this band, because it was one of the best discoveries I made in 2010

First things first, Who are Bolus? Where did they come from? Fortunately there are answers to these questions.

Bolus is a Canadian band, that I must say just took me by surprise because I knew nothing about them. I just knew that this was their second album and they had released their first album in 2005.

Most surprising was the age at which they produced and recorded the album. Approximately 20-23 years of age. Now that's amazing.

I didn't know what to expect to hear, but certainly not the quality and maturity in compositions that are generally reserved for older ages. But in some songs the lyrics do tend to show that this is a young band. Not juvenile, just whimsical.

This band plays with such an irresistible energy that it is impossible not to feel hopeful about what they can achieve with more time and experience. Here's to a promising career.

Their style is a bit difficult to define precisely because they flirt with many genres, but they focus mainly on alternative rock, so I feel that categorize them in the neo prog genre is a bit bold, even a misnomer. Nick Karch has a particularly pleasant voice which can enhance the more melodic parts of some tracks. It must be said that the vocal harmonies are one of the best aspects of the band just because they are elegant and distinctly integrated in the songs making them more memorable.

Because the band consists of two people, both have to be multi-instrumentalist. And in this regard they are quite prolific. But because of this, you can not expect great solos or situations where they give in into self-indulgence. They just play the music as best as possible and while Nick tries to show off the guitar from time to time is always at the service of the song, not the ego.

All in all, the appreciation you have for the band will undoubtedly depend on your opinion of commercial music, more specifically alternative rock. But if you give it a chance, this album may surprise you and ultimately that is what this genre it's all about.

4 Stars Recommended!

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 Delayed Reaction by BOLUS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.49 | 11 ratings

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Delayed Reaction
Bolus Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Delayed Reaction' - Bolus (6/10)

As one would hope, 'prog' rock has developed to keep up with the ever-changing scope of modern music. Bolus is one such act that attempts to live up to that original tenant of prog rock, being to take the sounds of so-called popular music and push the envelope of their artistic credibility. 'Delayed Reaction' is a fair demonstration of what this Canadian duo is all about; talented and professional, Bolus makes some good, melodic music here, without necessarily convincing me that it will do something that hasn't already been seen.

Calling this band neo-prog is a fair assessment. In general, there is an attention to vocal melodies here that alot of orthodox prog does not, especially when it comes to the harmonies that this duo makes. Bolus often sound like they are fusing melodic prog with alternative rock, and this is a fusion of styles that has been quite promising to me in the past. A comparison could be drawn here to Marillion, as the music is typically favouring beautiful melancholy over technical display. Mid-era Rush also plays a factor here. The band is most definitely influenced by the classic bands, as is most evident in the sounds and textures they choose to use. The keyboards are derived from Genesis it sounds, and Alex Lifeson's guitar tones seem to be emulated throughout 'Delayed Reaction'. Of course, if you're a prog fan, these 'derivative' elements are not necessarily a bad thing. All the same, it feels like despite Bolus' evident strength in terms of production, performance, and melody-writing, they are content to stay within the shadow of those that came before.

The production is something that particularly impressed me, especially the way these vocal harmonies come out in the mix. The vocals of Nick Karch are quite good, although there are times when he seems to take a little too nasal of a tone with his voice. The vocal harmonies are where this band's strength lies, at least as far as their performance goes. Although they are kept relatively simple, the arrangements add alot to the melodies of this band, which are already quite good on their own. Besides a few melodies however, 'Delayed Reaction' is not a particularly memorable album. It is enjoyable, long, and- in some instances- ambitious, but perhaps a little too dry to leave a lasting impression on me.

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