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BAK

Experimental/Post Metal • Australia


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BaK biography
BaK is a music entity comprised of two people in the vein of composers (think Andrew Lloyd WEBBER meets LED ZEPPELIN / QUEEN / BLACK SABBATH). A melting pot of music styles, BAK is orchestral rock infused with eastern scales, Arabic melodies and metal attitude. A grand and theatrical image is the way BAK's music presents itself.

All music and lyrics are comprised of original works written, composed and arranged by Beau and Kit (plus, Beau plays guitar/bass/bağlama; and Kit plays drums/percussion and keyboards/piano). Composition takes place in Sydney Australia. Recording involves the assistance of a fairly large and selected crew of session musicians including members of Symphony Orchestra's (strings; brass; woodwind), Opera/Choir, local ethnic musicians (middle Eastern/Indian), professional session musicians, singers and many more. Therefore at present BAK is a studio based project, although they have grand ambitions of performing their music in front of a live audience - "The way we see ourselves live however is with lots of the above people on stage (20 - 100+) - with full staging and lighting - a Rock spectacular".

BAK released its 10 tracks debut album "Sculpture" in April 2010, which caught on pretty quickly in the Progressive Metal community. The album features clear tendencies towards the eastern sounding soundscapes, which is why many fans have drawn a clear comparison to the Israeli progressive metal ORPHANED LAND.

Recommended to fans of eclectic Progressive Rock Metal with a pinch of mystery added to it. Who know, maybe the mystery behind the band's identity will make their music feel even more intriguing?

Bio provided by artist, edited by Rune2000

BaK official website

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BAK discography


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

4.13 | 17 ratings
Sculpture
2010

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

BAK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BAK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BAK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 4 ratings
Painter
2012

BAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sculpture by BAK album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.13 | 17 ratings

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Sculpture
BaK Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

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.

 Painter by BAK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Painter
BaK Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars PAINTER is the second release in the form of a short 23:28 EP from the Australian progressive metal band BAK. Once again all the compositions are written, composed and arranged by Beau (guitar / bass / baglama) and Kit (drums / percussion / keys / piano). Also on board is a whole army of session musicians who create the lush symphonic orchestrations, extra strings, brass, woodwind, operatic and choir vocals as well as all the ethnic sounds that span from Middle Eastern to Indian in flavor. While not quite a full- fledged follow up to their 2011 debut album "Sculpture" its four tracks are nonetheless quite strong examples of their unique style of mixing and melding symphonic and progressive metal with Arabic folk music all touched up with classic era traditional metal. So far this one is only available as a digital format.

"Us All" begins the set with tribal drumming and Middle Eastern orchestration and strings and hooks the listener in instantly with a nice guitar groove and passionate exchange of sung and spoken vocals alternating. This track reminds me of a prog metal band like Fates Warning teaming up with some Middle Eastern orchestra and perfectly fusing into one. The metal takes over at times but is always enshrouded in the ethnic influences. A nice melodic guitar solo is included.

"Creation" begins on a lighter note with slow string sections that lead up to a female vocalist that makes the track feel like it's going to burst into a bellydance number at any moment. The tribal percussion finally enters the scene but stays in the symphonic acoustic range with lots of vocalists harmonizing over the Middle Eastern musical scales. This one has a cool baglama (Turkish stringed instrument) solo. No metal appears until the last quarter of the track when some power riffs thrash it up and then fade out with the track.

"What We Have Done" is the longest track at over 9 minutes and begins with Indian percussion and soon becomes joined by the prog metal type vocals without the metal. But soon the power chords come in and it becomes more metal. It reverts back to the ethnic musical accompaniment. The two styles basically trade off between the ethnic and the metal with each taking their turns jumping into the limelight. Towards the end after the metal has a chance to build up a bit we get some extreme vocals that alternate between death growls and shouting which are simultaneously accompanied by an operatic choir. Pretty cool.

"The Tragedy Of Isabella Lockhardt" is a short two minute instrumental that sounds more like something off of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" than anything else on the album. OK, whatever.

This one is more sophisticated than "Sculpture," which had many moments of sounding like Metallica's black album meets the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble with other ethnic sprinklings. On PAINTER the ethnic and symphonic efforts are much stronger and it feels like a much larger production as well. While i absolutely love the music of BAK, it does sound a bit like Myrath with Fates Warning vocals at times but unlike those bands, BAK use the metal parts sparingly on PAINTER. This is quite an enjoyable album for those who love Indian and Middle Eastern music and love metal folk fusion at its most melodic. A very decent album that i only wish was a full length one because this isn't long enough!

 Sculpture by BAK album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.13 | 17 ratings

BUY
Sculpture
BaK Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars BaK is what you get when you try to combine Middle Eastern and orchestral sounds together with arrangements of a traditional metal band. I've actually never been a big fan of this combination with the two Orphaned Land albums being my prime connection with the style. But unlike the Middle Eastern bands who incorporate sounds of the traditional metal into their style, BaK is (from what I can tell) actually an Australian act who does the reverse of just that. Whether this is something that would appeal more to the western audience is of course debatable but I personally found it a bit easier to get into the groove of this release.

Another interesting fact is that I've been listening to this album for almost three month now and I'm still discovering new details in it's sound that I was completely oblivious to in the early days. Some small snippet here and there is one thing but when I completely managed to ignore the underlying keyboard arrangements is quite weird. Just like the best film scores are the ones that conveniently place themselves in the background in order to make the audience concentrate their attention on the movie in front of them, there is clearly an intention behind this layering technique that BaK so adequately have demonstrated.

If I had to mention anything that I found less appealing then it would be the lack of a total dedication of the band to their style. Yes, the instruments are all in place and sound appropriate enough, but somehow I still can't get past the feeling that the whole oriental sound is merely a gimmick from the collective. I might of course be proven wrong after BaK starts releasing one studio album after the other where they enhance their sound even more. Other than that I really can't think of any other criticism regarding this release, making it easily one of the most ambitious debuts of the decade! Having said that I just realized that I know practically nothing about this mysterious Australian act so, for all I know, it could be comprised of a supergroup formation featuring members from many established bands. But that's just my bitter speculation considering the high quality of the music and production of this release!

BaK have certainly sculptured an excellent debut that the band can be proud of for years to come. If anything, I would be amazed if the collective can recreate the same quality on their future releases, but that is left to be seen. As for now, I highly recommend Sculpture to fans of eclectic metal music or anyone who is tired of the regular metal scene and is looking for new engaging music to sink their teeth into!

***** star songs: Why (3:45) Our Time (9:11)

**** star songs: The Search (2:38) Can't Understand (7:44) Not Just Your World (7:34) Kali (3:38) Pay (4:22) Garuda (2:33) Sands Of Time (5:39) The Lament Of Curtain Von Schnauzer (6:42)

Thanks to Rune2000 for the artist addition.

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