Thursday 17 May 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Barst, "The Endeavour"

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/05/2018
Label: Consouling Sounds

‘The Endeavour” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. The Endeavour

The Review:

Boy! Barst has done it again. On their 2016 outing, “Western Lands,” Barst yielded stunning results when they combined post metal aggression with claustrophobic psychedelia. This Friday, Barst is going to hit the scene with a new offering, “The Endeavour.” In doing so, this Belgian band is taking their sound to unexplored territories.

The Endeavour” is presented as one, 42 minute song. Whether “The Endeavour” actually is one, single song is up for debate. I’d go so far as to say the album is three of four movements, all tied together by way of smooth transitions. But presentation counts for a lot, and if Barst wants us to take this album in as one song, then that’s what we’ll do. Either way, the band implores the listener to give the music full and undivided attention.

As far as genre is concerned, “The Endeavour” is hard to pin down. There’s definitely a dark element to the music, and it’s heavy in its own way. Is it metal? Yeah. Industrial? Check. Psychedelic? No doubt. Heavy doom? Uh-huh. And those are just a few of the genres that Barst brings to the table.

Throughout, the guitars are laden with a variety of distortion effects. None of the guitars are ever overpowering, but they sure do set the mood. So there’s still a subtlety in the music that holds the band back from diving head first into mindless riffing. “The Endeavour” continues its foray into the unknown by introducing programmed percussion and other electronics, giving way to a rather palpable industrial influence. Sometimes an Ufomammut tint springs to mind and at other times the music gets psychedelic enough to wonder if it’s still Barst that we’re listening to.

Then there’s the emotional palette that Barst paints from. It’s probably even more varied than the musical palette. Barst spends these 42 minutes intently dipping their proverbial paintbrush in the darkest of blacks as well as the brightest of colors. The resulting painting is one that grabs attention of both its somber tone as well as its shades of hope and elation.

Despite the sprawling nature of the music on “The Endeavour,” the album is still a very concise listen. Barst’s plan of attack is based on a clear vision, so much so that every note and chord and melody played is as intentional as the last. Barst’s vision is so sound that they don’t get caught up in themselves, but instead are able to translate what was in their mind to a recorded format without coming across as self-indulgent.

“The Endeavour” is available digitally, on CD and LP here

Band info: facebook