Friday 3 May 2024

Bismarck - Vourukasha (Album Review)

Release Date: May 03rd 2024. Record Label: Subsound Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Vourukasha - Tracklisting

1.Sky Father 



4.The Tree Of All Seeds


6.Ocean Dweller


Vourukasha is the new album from Norwegian Spaced Out Doomsters Bismarck who bring a more furious and progressive mix of Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal, Ambient Metal and Post-Rock which is all set against a desolate Blackened landscape. The vocals retain their harsh and violent gruff surroundings heard on their previous albums. Taking creative cues from bands such as CONAN, ISIS, YOB and Mastodon, Vourukasha allows Bismarck to provide their unsettling blend of aggressive Psychedelic Sludge grooves with a subtle Post-Metallic flow which has moments of blissful Post-Rock energy in the more mellower parts of the album.

The story is fused with hints of Middle Eastern themes and sounds that sees Bismarck bring a more world-weary narrative to the album which comes surprisingly real within the excellent opening track of Sky Father. With heavy Black Metal soundscapes giving way to some of the earliest and heaviest moments of the album, Bismarck is still surprisingly developing new sounds at the later stages of the track which blossoms throughout the whole album.

Vourukasha continues its Post-Black Metal journey into the far reaches of the Cosmos with pounding progressive guitars and heavy hitting drums which has a classic mid 2000’s feel whilst still offering an essential modern day sound. 

Bismarck feels like they’re taking the creative Post-Metal mantle of the legendary ISIS especially on tracks such as Echoes, Kigal and The Tree Of All Seeds. As these songs have similar movements, melodies and complex musical structures that iSIS were known for. However, Bismarck still creates and plays their own unforgiving and dominant style of music where they bring in that ferocious Black Metal sound which speeds up their music to a highly destructive approach which left my hearing continuously on edge throughout.

The final two tracks Vourukasha and Ocean Dweller brings a more cautious style of Progressive Sludge Metal with layers of distorted Drone and harsh vocals with that Middle Eastern energy becoming a true force of nature which allows Bismarck once again to play the heaviest moments through the entire record.

Bismarck are helped on their creative journey with Chris Fielding (CONAN) on mixing duties and James Plotkin on mastering duties who bring an extra level of true heaviness to the record which allows Vourukasha become one of the most essential Sludge Metal/Post-Metal records to own this year. 

This is a first rate album on all levels which Bismarck ultimately deserving all the praise and rewards coming their way.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Dark Essence Records for the promo.

Vourukasha is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Dark Essence Records.


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