Beehoover - Heavy Zooo
Exile on Mainstream Records
Progressive Hard Rock, Doom Metal
10 songs (44:53)
Release year: 2008
Beehoover, Exile on Mainstream Records
Reviewed by Goat

For many, the guitar riff is a tool to be used, a slave to the twists and bends that their minds force it through, a channel for the musical force that follows. For others, the riff is the centre point, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, the raison d’etre as itself, without embellishments. Such is Beehoover, a German two-piece (bass/vocals and drums/vocals) that has been quietly slaving away in the underground Rock scene to great acclaim for quite a while now. Whilst you’d expect a minimalist set-up like this to produce something slow and Droned-out, the band channels its sound through the traditional ‘Noise Rock’ template, resulting in something like a cross between Kyuss and Melvins.

It’s clear from the first listen that Beehoover has also had plenty of influence from classic Doom Metal, and the mixture of the two styles is a pleasant one, even if you’ve heard it all before. Vocals aren’t so much sung as chanted, and are definitely set behind the instrumentation in production terms. What will keep you listening is the twisty songwriting, which makes each and every track reveal itself over time rather than give itself up immediately, and the sheer rumble of the bass, which is quite melodic for an instrument that most Metalheads only ever hear in the background. The lack of ‘normal’ guitars means that there’s little distraction from the true focus – the two-step hum and beat of bass and drums.

There are few missteps, although minute-long interlude Irön Horse (consisting solely of manic German yelling and what sounds like a xylophone) will leave heads scratched. Beehoover has taken several steps towards the Avant-Garde on this album that weren’t there before, and the results are simply fascinating. Opener Solitude In Bloom is a Stoner anthem for the ages; complete with a speed and viciousness that approaches pure Thrash at moments. It flows directly into the title track, a catchy storm of downtuned riffage that sticks in the mind for a long time afterwards.

Although you wouldn’t expect it, the band that I kept mentally comparing Beehoover to is Tool; the twisted chug providing a similar atmosphere. Heck, throw M.J. Keenan over the top and it could be a demo of the American Prog-giant’s new album. Interestingly, Beehoover is far too underground a unit to bear such comparisons for long: tours last year with The Hidden Hand and Stinking Lizaveta tied the band’s flag firmly to the Doom mast. Don’t expect to read about this band in the latest trendy hipster magazine; whilst the surface of the planet changes, this duo will be firmly underground, making new albums without a care for ‘scene’ or ‘status’.

Killing Songs :
Solitude In Bloom, Heavy Zooo, Spirit & Crown, I Desert, Dance Like A Volcano
Goat quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Beehoover that we have reviewed:
Beehoover - Concrete Catalyst reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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