Bolzer
Soma


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (56 Reviews)
September 26th, 2014 | 31 replies


Release Date: 08/05/2014 | Tracklist


Having shot to prominence with last year’s Aura, one would assume there to be a full length on Bolzer’s horizon, but the Swiss duo’s enthusiasm for the EP format seems to be paying dividends regardless of expectations placed on them. Indeed, with Soma’s addition to their catalogue, the band have now released an album’s worth of material that is not only high in quality, but musically and thematically consistent. However, this isn’t to say that Soma is undistinguished within the band’s discography, nor does it mean the songs would benefit from being accompanied with a greater amount of material. Soma is unmistakably a Bolzer record, but just like its predecessor, the compositions found within have a kind of distinctiveness that the brevity of an EP seems to exemplify better than anything else.

The opening track “Steppes” wastes no time in conveying its memo, as Thierry Jones feverishly bellows before divulging into what is arguably the most infectious riff he has ever written for the project. As opposed to the incremental mood building of Aura, Soma is significantly more straightforward, with the songs hinging more on the power of the riffs themselves instead of the complex, nuanced arrangements. Though an approach like this is susceptible to flat lining, Bolzer exude such confidence in themselves and their formula that they still succeed even at their most elementary. “Labyrinthian Graves” may be the longer, slower track of the two here, but it’s still cut from the same cloth in that the riffs take precedence over atmospherics. Jones takes full advantage of the ten strings available to him, playing an even mix of high and low register riffs comprised mostly of tremolo picking and resonant, open chords. The marching rhythms provided by drummer Fabian Wyrsch may not have the same driving force as Jones’ axe work, but is nevertheless complimentary to Soma’s overall sense of vigour and freneticism.

It may bother some people that Bolzer insist on separating works that could coexist with ease on an album, but it’s also apparent that the guys know what works for them. Soma functions beautifully as its own entity, irrespective of its relative lightness in terms of material. Whether the band decide to knuckle down and combine all the facets of their unique sound is a non-factor, because if they can maintain the quality of Soma and its musical kin in future endeavours, then we really have no reason to complain as listeners.



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Chart.
3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Stream it here

http://www.stereogum.com/1694253/stream-bolzer-soma-ep/mp3s/album-stream/

Digging: Brian Eno - Ambient 4: On Land

climactic
September 26th 2014


19122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck to the yes

Digging: Bolzer - Soma

fromtheinside
September 26th 2014


18363 Comments


you're supposed to be studying or smth! also why would you comment on a jaq review

Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

also my shortest review and i verily enjoyed writing it, might do a few more in this vein.

fromtheinside
September 26th 2014


18363 Comments


WOW

climactic
September 26th 2014


19122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

because octave trems

fromtheinside
September 26th 2014


18363 Comments


pinched harms?

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

tremolo picked pinch harmonics?

fromtheinside
September 26th 2014


18363 Comments


if poissible please provide

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

uploading demonstration video now @16%

fromtheinside
September 26th 2014


18363 Comments


hahahahaha
hilarious


Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2014


6149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, mindpos.

This slays as much as the previous EP.

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cheers Voivod, and yeah I dig the riff oriented approach here

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2014


16144 Comments


Good review - very informative even if in my opinion a little lacking in voice. As primarily an indie/alt/folk fan, how much would this appeal to me?

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks man :D

I can imagine you liking it but then again I have no idea what you look for in metal. Still, it's less than
20 minutes long so there's no reason not to check it out.

Not sure what you mean by "voice" tho?

Rail
September 26th 2014


535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Full length is due in 2015, according to an interview in my friend's zine.

Digging: Phaeleh - A World Without

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2014


16144 Comments


Most of the metal I like is very proggy and atmospheric - Agalloch is probably among my favorites.

But like you said it's not very long so maybe I'll give it a quick listen. I'm very bored because I started a night job so now my schedule has shifted that way even on my days off. I've spent the last forty five minutes or so reading every review in the users' section haha.

And I just mean it lacks a certain flair. Something that shows a little personality, humor, or insight. It flows well and is extremely well-written from an objective standpoint which is obviously the goal, just my two cents worth of advice because you clearly have talent. I mentally pos'd for what it's worth : )



Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ah true that, I have noticed that a lot of my reviews read sort of "dry" if that makes any sense, .

It might be because I tried specifically to be brief here, so my review was sort of in line with the EP, thanks : )

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2014


16144 Comments


Yeah it's by no means a criticism (if it came across that way), but more of a suggestion if you feel like
experimenting with your style in the future. I think injecting your personality into your reviews might
make them more memorable, because they're already proficiently done.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2014


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's all good, I've noticed that since I became contrib that pointers and suggestions have practically vanished, so anything to help me improve is sweet.

I've been trying to be less analytic and more conversational with my later reviews, maybe I'm just too cold ;_;



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