Formed in 2008, based out of Madrid Spain, this is the third release from MOTHERSLOTH and first released through Italian label Argonauta Records. They described themselves as doom/stoner/sludge metal, but there is a precision to the songs offered here that these tags become useless and unnecessary. Sure, lots of open chords, ultra-distorted bass lines and pounding hammers of doom on each drum head in proximity, but that tech-prowess again belies that there are no limits to what these three are able to create. Listing members as Oscar / drums, Moline / bass guitar and Daniel / vox and guitars, they started playing gigs live in 2010 before their first release in 2012 “Hazy Blur Of Life”, followed up in 2014 with “Moribund Star” and endless shows and appearances followed. Tons of positive reviews and comments filled the air with everyone that witnessed these guys in action and this released has been greatly anticipated since.
‘Shadow Witch’ hits hard from the first second with all the punch you could expect and then at exactly 40 seconds in, we are greeted with softer, clean notes and Daniel in a whisper voice speaking of “nothingness”, and then the dark-heavy looms right back in as the opener lets us know trying to label them is a waste as so many genre’s swirl effortlessly together to be all and none specific at the same time. ‘Once Human’ sweeps directly out of the signal-chirp at the end and lumbers forward, maintaining that staggered pacing that allows Oscar to show his chops from beginning to end and Moline flows in perfect symmetry, keeping the deep and dark bottom end pummeling in presence.
“Lost souls wander the dark and desolate forest…” is how ‘The Firemill’ enters the room and “bloodlust” is the tone of this seven minute plus crusher that has Daniel’s soaring vocal hitting heights he had not ventured to with a clarity that shows growth in the lapse of time since the last release. The haunting tones of the solo section towards the end echo, the feel of the song is the perfect ‘cherry on top’ for this track.
‘Doomsday Cyborg’ is the one that the hardcore stoner/sludge junkies will gravitate towards with it’s 2/4 core time sig and enough feedback loops hand fed in ‘sugar-cubes’ of phase shifted delight to cause a flashback… or three, all the way to the slow fade out. ‘Wish For Dawn’ begins with a slower back beat and a cleaner guitar progression as a not-distorted bass line allows for the power chords to rip through and set up Daniel’s vocal perfectly. Another searing solo section during the last half will melt your face off and leave you wanting it to go on and on… and on. The harmonic fade out at the end then gives a chill across your flesh.
Title track, and personal favorite from this one, ‘Moon Omen’ begins with the sounds of the forest, complete with an echoing whisper traversing the wind blowing from all directions, and then the body is set by a lone guitar screaming in lucid softness. At 3:20, the sky breaks as the fury hits hard with all three members for thirty seconds; back to ethereal guitar progression, alone once more… until joined by the richest lingering notes that force eyes and ears up high to see the glory eminating forth. Moline gets to take the last portion of the song as he steps forth with the body and melody as Oscar busts out some jazz fills that make this section even better than it could have been as Daniel’s 6-string mastery shines as the edge of the final second.
Front to back, the most cohesive collection put forth from this band yet, well worth the wait and another must-have for 2017. Get it like, yesterday, SEE & support them if you get the chance and keep it LOUD!!
This Charming Man Records – UK/EU – Release Date: March 24th, 2017
“Letter to the listener:
Progressive; heavy; psychedelic; Americana, have all been used to describe Bask. The truth, we are four musicians based in Asheville, North Carolina who love making music. We want rhythm heard for miles, melodies remembered for weeks and an honesty and sincerity felt to your bones. Most of all we want you to listen without concern for what you are hearing. To listen only for the sake of hearing. Esse Quam Vid”
And so was my introduction to BASK a four piece group of individuals that keep to the two guitar / bass/drums formula for pure rock and roll, complete with two part vocals, yet they prefer to refuse any labeling, asking us each to listen for the pleasure of what we are taking in is giving as they weave each of these six compositions together with an ease that makes this second release a gem in and of itself. Scott Middleton , Jesse Van Note , Ray Worth and Zeb Camp make up what is BASK and this six-song offering of 39 minutes of some of the most sonic interlaced meanderings of four energies twisting through time and sound be it the quick fade in of winds stirring skies underneath the trees of ‘Asleep In The Orchard’ before the power chords enter and take you back to the almost dreamy texture as that voice enters describing the fruit hanging around as you close your eyes to see the picture this quartet is painting with lush, lingering strokes that keep you entranced and moving at the same time. ‘A Graceless Shuffle’ comes out with a staggered gallop pace and upbeat yet still rolling along the road type of jaunt with “The paths all closing in” as the tempo shifts to a faster cadence as the shuffle goes on, up until “…the strychnine in my blood.” closes out. ‘In The Black Fir’ begins with that haunting slide that makes your hands grab an air guitar and comes on with that heavy-handed thick chording that drives forward taking you with willingly for the entire seven minute plus opus of our traveler. So many musical textures are contained in this track alone to garner every rock-tag out there and shows exactly why BASK ask you to listen for the sake of the listening itself as they let you savor each flavor as one and a whole, all at once. The dark ominous fade-out is perfection. ‘Kindled Green’ opens cleanly and before you are 30 seconds in, bone-crunching chords are all over you as the clean notes continue in that lofty manner we have come to expect from the first half of this album and then a vocal harmony enters and shows another flavor not expected but full of the savory just the same that washes your palette with a warmth of remembrance and the heavy comes right back to compliment as the vocals echo along in the confines and you grasp each repeat.
The slowing pace belies the end and then… slow fade in of swirling notes that slip around your feet and slightly bending clear notes take you to ‘The Lonesome Sound’ as the words of life describe us all one at a time and all at once together as one and none at the same time. Slower-paced but ever so heavy and plush and just plain complex that there is no denying this band their own request to listen for the pure joy that listening to this WILL give you regardless of musical preferences. Most bands write the greatest record in their arsenal with the first one, and then they try to recapture whatever they think that one had and a lot really do fail miserably. BASK has done the seeming impossible and come out swinging as a band that appears to have grown and matured to become 300% of what they were with the first release. Closer ‘Mush! Carry Me Home’ perfectly wraps this record with another tale that shows the lyrical majesty that has permeated this one from the front and allows each member to shine as this song brings back around each ingredient that has made this meal so satisfying and wanting even more as the last drops off. If they come anywhere close, you GOTTA GO and support them. I have a feeling it will be one to talk about for years to come if this release is any indication. Get the record and go support!!