Friday 14 July 2017

BISON - You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient (Album Review)

Release date: June 23rd 2017. Label: Pelagic Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient – Tracklisting

Until the Earth is Empty
Anti War
Water Becomes Fire

Band Members:

James Farwell (or "Gnarwell")
Dan And
Shane Clark
Matt Wood


Listening to Bison's new album ‘You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient’ it soon becomes clear that these guys are experienced musicians and know what they’re doing. The record is packed with sludgy grooves, harsh vocals and a variation of clean jams. To get it out of the way early, this record is a total sludgehammer.

The album, whose title unfortunately makes me think of a stereotypical metalcore-band, is luckily far from that. No time is wasted wailing out top class riffs that makes one think of Yob and Conan. It’s noticeable just how much Bison puts an effort in creating progression in their songs. ‘You Are Not the Ocean You Are The Patient’ delivers just enough diversity to keep it interesting the whole way through.

The track Tantrum, in particular, stands out to me. This could be taken straight from Mastodon's classic album Leviathan based on the sheer quality of the riffs, melodies and instrumentation not typical to a sludge-band. Using violins and flutes creates a soundscape that is both immersive as it is impressive. It creates the feeling of sitting alone in a forest cabin on a dark rainy evening with only solitude as company.

Another stand-out track, Anti War, help Bison reach another level of dynamics with a raw punk approach. Still it does groove in between the crushing riffs. This is certainly one of the “must-listen” tracks on the album due to its screamed vocals and trash-metal solo.

To finish with a sombre track such as Water Becomes Fire is a bold and genius move. Everything is slowed down as guitars are plucking chords and the drums play real carefully as the violin makes another appearance to create an eerie and disturbing feeling. Here Bison plays some of the albums most warm and soothing jams. This is before they erupt into some proper Yob-esque riffage. And it is with songs like these that Bison shine the most.

There is no denying that Bison are both skilled musicians and a great band. This has allowed them to create a piece that will certainly stand the test of time. The production is clear, cutting guitars with a rumbling bass are the main focus here, they do not disappoint in any way. Everything is filthy and has its own layer of dirt, massive plus. Every instrument has its own place and never steps on another, thought has been placed while mixing this beast to let everything breathe.

To fully appreciate the eeriness and brooding doom, Bison conjures that you really should listen to ‘You Are Not the Ocean You Are The Patient’, perhaps in a single sitting in a lonely forest cabin, on a dark rainy evening.

Words by Simon Ohlsson

You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Pelagic Records now.