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.