Bosse-de-Nage - Bosse-de-Nage
Black Metal
7 songs (47:00)
Release year: 2010
Bosse-de-Nage, Flenser
Reviewed by Charles
Bosse-de-Nage remain purposefully obscure in the best tradition of underground black metal (their members are identified solely by letters of the alphabet, leading to no end of fun speculating about whether they may be known from other projects). Some sources have suggested that the reason Flenser has unearthed this recording (made in 2007) is because of repeated namedrops as one of the Bay Area’s best acts by Aesop Dekker (Agalloch and Ludicra). If that leads you towards assumptions about its sound, moderate them a little. This does incorporate post-rock elements and it does occasionally have some indie subtlety to it. Like a slowed-down and crusted-up Joy Division. But despite that, for the most part this is minimalist but melodic black metal more reminiscent of Transylvanian Hunger than The Tenant. In this odd combination, it sometimes almost feels soulful, but there is also a sense of madness lurking, particularly in the demented vocal screeches.

Opener Marie is understated and sadly melodic, with doomy clean chords rippling over an unhurried backbeat. A gloomy progression takes clear shape, and stays with us throughout the song even as it steps up into blastbeating. We only rarely seem to accelerate into the kind of dizzying raw intensity of fellow Californians like Fell Voices or Bone Awl, and the sound itself is never as harsh. Instead, the tremolo blasting here seems to glide across slowly-shifting harmonic vistas- perhaps that suggests someone like Altar of Plagues but the punkish and rudimentary sound means the dynamic or harmonic richness of Cascadian (or Cascadian-influenced) bands is a distant memory. This is early Darkthrone-influenced black metal, with a deep sense of melody and a feel for brooding post-rock moods. The repetitive percussive thud into which the closing Excerpt from Paris Spleen boils down gives the impression of a sickly, undernourished Pelican.

Bosse-de-Nage is an esoteric work with a distinct character which is not as easy to categorise as it first appears. The slow rock thudding into which the band occasionally lapses (as with the opening of the untitled third track) is not so much an exercise in fusing genres, but more a means of bringing a different ambiance to an intensely melodic but harsh black metal template, giving its meditative blasting a spaced out, doomy feel which it never quite ditches. At times it has the haphazardness of Peste Noire (a likeness which is perhaps unnecessarily amplified by the French language influences), as on Excerpt from the 5th Canto, a stumble through mouldy, Lugubrum-esque jamming and blackened blast, often feeling as if it’s all about to collapse in on itself. All in all, an interesting addition to the USBM scene.

Killing Songs :
Marie, Excerpt from Paris Spleen
Charles quoted 76 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:12 am
View and Post comments