Review Summary: Nature vs. the machine, part .1: Searching for meaning.
UK-based post-metal band Bossk
is (was) an enigma. A relatively unknown band, they formed in 2005, and subsequently released two EPs, .1 and .2, in the following years. These two-song albums showed huge potential and creativity, exciting Isis fans across the globe, and cementing the band’s place as a rising power in the fairly stagnant post-metal scene. But then, as quickly as they were created, Bossk parted ways in 2008, with little to no explanation. While this move was shocking and disappointing, there is no one who can justify too many complaints, as before Bossk parted ways, they left the musical community with two shockingly good EPs. Each record is a Bossk record through and through, but they also each have a distinct sound, style, and theme.
The first Bossk EP, .1, is the more accessible of the two, showcasing a slightly heavier, yet more ambiance-based style. An abstract yet strangely accurate way to describe its sound is that it has a more natural sound and flow than the second EP. Not natural in musical terms (as in ”unforced”), but literally “natural.” The two songs on this EP, I
, are as huge as the ocean, as violent and primeval as the Earth’s turbulent birth and early years, and as beautiful as the moss-blanketed forest on the cover of the record. The power and beauty of these two 10-minute plus tracks truly are a power and beauty of natural origins, harkening back to the time before humanity dominated the Earth: when there was nothing but the natural dichotomy of serenity and chaos. The massive power chords tempered with the reverb-heavy soft passages reminds us of when everything had its natural place, and everything lived and died as one.
Even the lyrics could speak of this time past: while I
is a completely instrumental track, the lyrics to the second and longer track, II
, speak of how the human heart longs for serenity and something of meaning. The savagely growled lyrics are largely dark, and focus on the emptiness of humanity, but end on a positive note, stating, “Dead of all thoughts, we all turn for inspiration/There is something much better out there for all of us.”
What these lines speak of is unknown: they could refer to a life free of constraints and artificiality, or to a greater purpose, or even to a higher power. No matter how they are interpreted, these beautiful lyrics, unlike so many bands that focus on technicality and musical prowess, speak not to the brain, but to the heart, reminding us of when there was meaning to life and the world; of when it wasn’t about superficiality, but it was about the Earth and our fellow man. This is the true theme of both the lyrics and the music on this album: the past days of meaning vs. the modern way of life that focuses so much on artificial and mechanical means. This modernity is explored in the band’s second EP, .2.
Continued in .2…
Staring back at the face you once knew, forget the dream that's over
Let your past fade, as cold apathy grips you tight
Sad words echo and feel empty, they've all been drained tonight
Replicate the savage, these words still exist after me
Dead of all thoughts, we all turn for inspiration
There is something much better out there for all of us