Dark Ages review by Bison B.C.

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  • Released: Apr 13, 2010
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (3 votes)
Bison B.C.: Dark Ages
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Sound — 10
Emerging from the Vancouver (Canada) hardcore scene, Bison B.C. managed to stand out by creating a sludgy blend of stoner metal's groove and the faster more aggressive pace of old school punk. Stressed Elephant starts the album off with slow distorted open chords which are soon joined by a horn of sort which smoothes out the whole beginning. And that smooth beginning only makes the following riff that much heavier. The drums push the whole album forward with a simple but driving beat. Tempos switch very quickly on songs like Fear Cave which starts off at a brisk pace only to slide into a mammoth stoner riff backed by chanting vocals. Two-Day Booze and Die of Devotion Start equally fast and maintain that speed throughout. Fleshing the album out is Wendigo Pt. 3 (Let him burn) which is the most powerful song. It starts with a twangy acoustic guitar that builds up before finally unleashing in a fury of distorted guitars. The song is one of the simplest but the riffs just pummel you, finally fading out into feedback accompanied by the opening acoustic bit. Solos and lead lines are few and nothing that will blow your mind but they fit in perfectly with the surrounding riffs and general feel of the song. The guitar tones, lead and rhythm, are all fantasticly heavy without being the least bit muddy and the bass comes through nicely. Overall the production is fantastic, all the instruments fit together and nothing is buried in the mix, generally a great sounding album.

Lyrics — 9
Looking at the lyric booklet I'm actually surprised at the quality of them. Generally based on the hardships of life and whatnot they fit well with the music, both in what they're saying and how they are performed. Most have a general rhyme scheme that makes them relatively catchy. The lyrics are yelled/shouted by the guitarists, one doing the majority while the other occasionally adds a few lines in a deeper growl. It's more how the lyrics are done than what's said that gives the songs their heavy, grooving, laid back feel.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall it's a fantastic album and well worth a listen even if your not a huge fan of stoner/sludge. There isn't a single bad song, nor any bad/boring moments that come to mind. From start to finish it is a powerful and enjoyable listen. Bison B.C. are definitely moving in the right direction, managing to capture an aggressive, raw sound while remaining refined and tight as a band. I thoroughly look forward to what they'll put out next.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Disturbdkornkid
    I saw these guys live a little while back when they came and played with Shadows Fall. Was really not impressed with them, sounded way too sludgy for my tastes.
    Lazarus.Bird
    These guys are incredible!! I was so pumped when I saw that the track listing had Wendigo Pt. 3. Knew that would be an epic song without even listening to it. Their first album release was fantastic too. I'm disgusted these guys are still relatively unknown. If you're a fan of Mastodon's earlier work, Kylesa, Clutch on roids, etc, check this out! I hope this album gives these guys more exposure so they can release a third album of epic proportions. Get your ass in gear Metal Blade!
    robertito696
    Its nice to see I'm not the only one who loves them. I found out about them through Pandora radio on my Mastodon/Kylesa station.
    Deplorable
    Definitely a good album and the review wasn't bad, though an overall 9.3 is simply to high Also it's not sludge.
    robertito696
    It's my opinion, I thoroughly enjoyed it and so it got a high rating. Feel free to write your own review saying otherwise. Also I don't believe I said it was sludge, I described it as sludgy as in dense and a bit slimy/nasty sounding, but I never called it sludge metal.
    goest
    Deplorable wrote: Definitely a good album and the review wasn't bad, though an overall 9.3 is simply to high Also it's not sludge.
    Bull, it's totally sludge. Sludge with it's stoner influence showing much more than it's doom.
    Lazarus.Bird
    Wow. What people generally refer to as "sludge" definitely peeks its head into this album. Let's not start a "it's this genre" argument. I doubt the band would even give a shit.
    seemeel
    A 9.3 is what you give Led Zeppelin IV, not this record. 9.3 is 'Outstanding'. A 'Great' record is a 7. 'Good' is 6 and 'Okay' is 5.
    Deplorable
    robertito696 wrote: It's my opinion, I thoroughly enjoyed it and so it got a high rating. Feel free to write your own review saying otherwise. Also I don't believe I said it was sludge, I described it as sludgy as in dense and a bit slimy/nasty sounding, but I never called it sludge metal.
    I really think you wrote a good review (seriously good), but I don't think the numbers correspond to what you said in the review itself is all . As for you not saying it's sludge, in the description thing up top you said it was sludge, but I understand your point, you did never explicitly state it was sludge, apologies.
    goest wrote: Bull, it's totally sludge. Sludge with it's stoner influence showing much more than it's doom.
    Sludge is more a derivative of crust/hardcore than metal, sludge doesn't have a "stoner influence" (though this album does have a stoner influence for sure). all up, the amount of sludge influence is VERY MINOR, calling it sludge does not make sense.
    Lazarus.Bird wrote: Wow. What people generally refer to as "sludge" definitely peeks its head into this album. Let's not start a "it's this genre" argument. I doubt the band would even give a shit.
    Well, I hope the band don't give a shit, if they did I would be sorely disappointed that they were trying to hard be something, rather than it being something natural. But it's not sludge. (And I enjoy it)