Friday 3 June 2022

BORT - The Wreck of the Hesperus (Album Review)

Release Date: June 03rd 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Wreck of the Hesperus - Tracklisting

1.Dead Reckoning

2.Permanent Failure 

3.New Ideal 

4.Dawn of Day

5.Black Breath

6.The Reef

7.Norman's Woe


Ian Alvarez - Drums, Vocals

Brandon Corness - Guitar, Keys, Vocals

Crouton McGinn - Bass, Keys, Vocals

Josh Percy - Lead Vocals


The Wreck of the Hesperus is the new album from Doom/Stoner Metallers BORT and it’s their first full length album in over three years. The album is a wild, weird and heavy mix of modern day Stoner/Doom Metal with a sideline in 70’s Hard Rock and Prog Rock. BORT merges different soundscapes with surreal lyrics and vocal harmonies that can be quite confusing at first. 

Opening song Dead Reckoning is nightmarish Doom based gloomy lullaby with heavy guitars and vocals that remind me of Bruce Dickinson in places but with more highly fantastical lyrics. You have to give BORT credit for packing as much as they did into this song. As the song only lasts under two minutes.

Second song Permanent Failure is where BORT get down to business of playing OTT heavy Prog/Psych Doom/Stoner grooves with a fascinating BASS line being one of the most striking things that impresses early on. The vocals flirt between “Prog Rock” cleverness and the standard “Stoner” styles that appear on this song. BORT do feel they have an identity crisis on this song at times but to their credit, all the different musical styles work with gusto and conviction. Booming Psych Rock and Gloomy Stoner Metal allows BORT to deliver a more experimental style of music and there’s some fantastic distorted vocals towards the end of the song.

Third song New Ideal continues with the OTT and flashy dynamics of the previous song but with a more restrained feeling and attitude. An atmospheric style of Alt Rock and 70’s Prog Rock are the main styles of music with an occult based attitude allowing BORT once again to change their musical style yet again. There’s a lot to take in with this song and BORT never makes it easy for the listener. That’s a good thing. As the different musical styles have a sense of wonder and creativity to them. An Ambient Post-Rock score appears in the middle of this song which BORT play to their advantage for one of the gloomiest tracks on the album.

BORT continue their gloomy musical odyssey on the rest of the album with guest appearances from various guests who appear on this album. The Wreck of the Hesperus impresses the most on tracks such as: Dawn Of Day, Black Breath and Norman’s Woe. As BORT feel more dangerous on these tracks with a non-stop style of highly inventive Doom/Stoner Metal with added Prog Rock and Alt-Metal flourishes to stand out from the crowd.

The Wreck of the Hesperus isn’t an album you’re going to fully understand on your first listen. There’s a lot to take in on this album. So allow yourself multiple listens for this record. Once you get it all then you will most definitely be pleased with yourself that you did.

BORT have delivered another brilliantly entertaining record to add to their collection. An album that is boosted by first rate production values to allow this record sound wonderfully fresh and powerful in equal measure.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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