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Bölzer - Aura

Bölzer - Aura (Iron Bonehead, 2013)

Bölzer is a highly thrilling band from Switzerland. I don’t know too much Swiss bands, but all the Swiss bands I know and listened have their own charisma and quality metal music: Helhammer/Celtic Frost/Triptykon, Coroner, Messiah, Samael, Darkspace, Paysage D’Hiver and why not….Nychts!

The band’s first output from 2012, the demo “Roman Acupuncture” (what a freakin’ sense of humour here!) sounded very underground, cruel and primal, still fresh, reminding sometimes of Inquisition. Pulsating, hypnotic black metal attack, always alternating between the fast forward shrieks, middle groove and ritualistic slow parts.

Same goes here with their EP “Aura”, the second coming, 3 songs in 23 minutes, but musically on an advanced level now.  “Coronal Mass Ejaculation” starts with that morose slow Swiss riff, but the vocals bring in something almost Viking, a discrete Bathory reference here, but we don’t have time to reflect, because here comes a very catchy thrash riff, wait, not one riff, 3 or 4 strong guitar themes then the song goes to its 2nd part, another Viking scream announcing the best moment of the song: creepy, down tempoed metal arpeggios in vein of Dolorian, if anybody remembers the Finnish weirdos. The starting riff comes back, drawing with this song a perfect circle.

2nd song “Entranced by the Wolfshook” (what could this possibly mean?) is another dynamic black/death metal song, a lot of tempo changes, different kinds of vocals. Even if the sound is brutal massive, I sense a post-rock feeling, mostly in the buildings of the crescendos and in the sharp guitar leads. A lot of tribal drumming in this song, not your general barbaric metal thing, but more wisely structured, more complex, reminding of the drum work of those like Mastodon, Kylesa, and throw a rock at me if I am wrong.

3rd and final song of the EP is the 10 minutes “The Great Unifier”, which starts with some miserable riffs, even Tom Warrior could wrote for Triptykon. Another ritualistic piece, with ancestral drums, feral guitar attacks and a savage vocal attendance. This song is like a gate to another dimension, very cosmic and very Lovecraft in some ways, musically not far from the ritualistic metal of death Necros Christos makes.

After the success of duo-bands like Urfaust, Inquisition, here is BÖLZER with its sophisticated, tribal and vicious black/death metal and you can’t neglect their talent, they have a gift in creating dark and gloomy soundscapes.

I would place this band somewhere between Inquisition, Necros Christos, The Ruins of Beverast and the more post-like black metal The Great Old Ones. Sorry for the parallels, let’s see what this band can offer in the future.

Written by Rob,

September 2014

8.5 / 10