Saturday 20 November 2021

Bentrees - Two Of Swords (Album Review)

Release Date: November 19th 2021. Record Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Two Of Swords - Tracklisting

1.Sunrise And Sunset 08:02

2.Yellow 08:27

3.Hermit 07:38

4.Brain War 07:51

5.Flowing Waters 11:22

6.Dust 'n' Gold 09:43


Two Of Swords is my first visit to the world of Psych Stoner Rockers Bentrees. Their 2017 debut album passed me by originally and I don’t know why. As I’m a huge fan of the style of music that Bentrees plays, that is Psych Stoner Rock with a huge amount of FUZZ. Their new album Two Of Swords carries on the sound laid down on their acclaimed debut release. 

Powerhouse Record Label Argonauta Records are releasing this record and I can see why. Gero at Argonauta has been releasing quality sounding Italian Psych Stoner Rock Bands for a long time and Bentrees is no different. Bentrees excel at pretty much everything on this record. Heavy Psych Stoner Rock that oozes confidence and has a high level of FUZZ ROCK that crackles with Prog Rock confidence.

Two Of Swords also has elements of Hard Rock, Doom Rock and Desert Rock with a 70s Classic Hard Rock Swagger and delicious amounts of FUZZ ROCK that would make the mighty Truckfighters blush. 

This album starts off with the excellent Sunrise And Sunset with their hybrid Stoner/Fuzz sound with delicious grungy vocals that remind me of Chris Cornell and Layne Staley well at the very heart of them at least. The song moves along to its own buoyant energy with the progessive themes interlaced with the Desert/Stoner Rock grooves. 

Second song Yellow is another epic slice of FUZZ based goodness with Bentrees going in further with their Psychedelic and Prog Rock creative ideas for a more cinematic style of song. The music starts quite abstract but slowly becomes a more interesting style of FUZZIER grooves but that could be down to the use of Sonic vibes slowly starting to become part of this album. The whole tone and atmosphere is rooted in 60s/70s Hard Rock with a 90s Californian Desert makeover. Partially inspired by KYUSS and Truckfighters but Bentrees still allow themselves to fully shine through on this song and the rest of the album.

The songs on Two Of Swords all run between 8 mins to 11 mins in length and there is a lot to explore on each of the songs. So give yourself time and multiple listens with this record. As there’s quite a lot going on for the majority of the album but everything still feels part of the Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal world that Bentrees ultimately reside in. 

The instrumental work is excellent with Bentrees allowing themselves the creative freedom to bring truly Interesting Psychedelic Grooves to this album. Add the grunge aspect and this album feels quite different to the other Psych Stoner Rock/Metal albums currently out there. 

Other standout songs include: Brain War, Flowing Waters and Dust ‘n’ Gold that make up the second half of the album and my favourite moments of the entire album. Everything feels more grounded here with the final two songs of Flowing Waters and Dust ‘n’ Gold having the heaviest and trippiest sounds on the entire record that leaves the “Garage Rock” appeal/vibe of the first half for a more direct style of Psych Fuzz, Desert Rock and Stoner Metal.

Two Of Swords is a magical, trippy and absolute blast of a record that Bentrees could make themselves more known within the Stoner Rock/Metal community.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to All Noir PR for the promo. 

Two Of Swords is available to buy now on DD from all good stockists and CD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records.


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