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Bison is a riff-loving Canadian band that doles out mercilessly heavy music. ”You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient” is their latest seven track album that combines elements of hard rock, metal and hardcore as it swings from breakdown to breakdown.
Bison are masters of the pivot from their slow and thunderous verses to full-fledged choruses. The bass guitar cuts through with clarity and, along with the guitars, makes for one of the greatest sonic marriages I’ve heard in a while. It’s impossibly heavy but somehow still balanced.
The second observation is that songs are all upward of four minutes with the exception of one, ‘Anti War’. It sees a faster, punkier Bison with vocal chords shredding for the cause. A guitar solos rears its head like a panicked animal, running sporadically from one corner to another with no regard for technique or convention adding a supplementary element of panic to the mix.
They don’t fall for the temptation of going at full bore for the entire album and actually seem to enjoy long stretches of instrumentals. There are atmospheric tendencies in large stretches of ‘Kenopsia’ and ‘Raiign’, creating spacious but bleak landscapes before inevitably dishing out some cataclysmic overdrive to compensate.
And when things get heavy, Bison are rage incarnate. ‘Tantrum’ lives up to its name and the latter part of ‘Raiign’ tops the Richter scale for the force of its vocal delivery. It’s heavy as metal and hard as rock, no doubt about it. The combination is riff-driven but free of double bass drumming so that groove is still a living element of each song. Brilliant.
If you prefer your guitars by the megaton, Bison’s “You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient” is an absolute must. One of the best heavy albums of the year so far.
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Listen to “You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient” below.