Friday, 13 November 2015

Bismuth – “Unavailing” (Album Review)

By: Jez Feral Beranek-Williams

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 25/11/2015
Label: Dry Cough, De Graanrepubliek, 
Box Records, Tartarus Records,
Viral Age


For me Bismuth is definitely the exception to the rule of this genre, Tanya’s has a great voice and together these two are both talented musicians as a whole, coming across like a slowed down Jucifer filled with heavier than hell distortion permeating your senses, fulfilling the devil’s needs and in the process creating a slab of pure doom at its finest.



“Unavailing” CD//DD//CS//LP track listing:

1. Tethys
2. Of The Weak Willed
3. The Holecene Extinction
4. Solitude and Emptiness

Bismuth is:

Tanya Byrne | Bass, vocals
Joe Rawlings | Drums

The Review

Bismuth started around 2011 and is made up of Bassist, vocalist Tanya Byrne and Drummer Joe Rawlings. They have released a previous EP titled ‘The Eternal Marshes’, a split with Undersmile and in 2014 they released a live album. This is their first full length album, entitled “Unavailing” and is due to be released November 25, 2015.  When I say, full length, what you get is four songs and a shade under an hour of slow, writhing doom, indeed if you read on their facebook page, they describe themselves as "slow" with "permanent tinnitus,” which is the most accurate description. I thought Undersmile was slow doom until I heard Bismuth.

Bismuth are like a slowed down Jucifer filled with heavier than hell distortion permeating your senses, fulfilling the devil’s needs and in the process creating a slab of pure doom at its finest. If you like to drone, then this is definitely the record for you. It's slow and heavy with haunting smeared vocals. Two and a half minutes into "Tethys" is the desperate cries of a fierce woman. It may seem like Tanya Byrne is playing the same thing over and over, but she switches it up about ten minutes into the song, which for its duration is fifteen minutes of slow sodomy. The sweet sounds of an angelic choir come in like surfacing still water and  "Of the Weak Willed" starts out with slow strums as you can hear fingers sliding on the bass. The riff is steady and sedated, a down tempo melody building eleven minutes of ominous distortion. You can hear Tanya shaking her bass to broaden the feedback of her instrument, then her vocals finally come in about two minutes before its climax, ending another sixteen minutes of pure doom.

"The Holecene Extinction" starts out with Joe on the drums, slowing building this twelve minute song, then Tanya starts peaking with her bass tone low and her vocals powerfully ushering an echo. There is a siren of atmospheric metal eight minutes into the song as Tanya growls whilst the erstwhile drummer steadily holds the beat, Tanya’s delivery reminiscent that of a howl from a fierce wolf.  "Solitude and Emptiness" starts out on a high note, but remains distorted as fuck. Joe's drumming is highlighted in this song. It's not just slow drone, he is actually drumming and carrying the song. This is probably the fastest song on the record and also my choice cut from the record, with Tanya coming in with her vocals immediately. The song ends with complete feedback and thus concluding this ‘Unavailing’ journey.  Honestly it would be great if they played this way on all of their songs. Sometimes it's a little to slow for my taste, but its drone and doom after all. 

For me Bismuth is definitely the exception to the rule of this genre, Tanya’s has a great voice and together these two are both talented musicians as a whole.

“Unavailing” will be available at the following links from the 25 November

FFO: Undersmile, Jucifer, Monarch, Horse Latitudes

Band info: facebook | bandcamp

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