Written by: Cantina
Several things could be said about Bölzer, but beyond any possible connotation, this fascinating swiss duo surely doesn't pander to the herd of formulaic blackened death metal outputs. Furthermore, the artistic relationship between KzR and HzR, the masterminds between this band, seem to be tighter than ever. It's already been three years since the release of their divisive full-length debut "Hero," yet Bölzer have proven yet again to be ready to destroy any opposition by exhuming their most beloved musical format: the EP. Longtime fans may have different perspectives in regards of this, but the band is currently showing NO intention of drifting away from their unconventional yet resolute path. Their unique brand of black/death metal seems to have grown into its fullest form--and with a certain ease, I must add.
Listening to this album felt like a natural process to me, perhaps because it was intended to be that
way--genuine. While HzR's drumwork is vigorous and variegated, KzR shows a particularly eccentric approach to clean vocals. Admittedly, it's not a favorite of mine, but I still feel like it appropriately fits the ominous, quasi-ritualistic context of this album, reminiscent of Greco-Roman mystery cults. As per usual, guitar work is labyrinthine, almost avant-garde in its essence. I find it hard to tell where, exactly, KzR manages to pull out such intricate yet melodic riffs from, but that's what makes Bölzer so widely known: you listen to it, you recognize it. Their ability to make wise usage of said riffs becomes glaring when taking a closer look at the first, triumphant track "A Shepherd in Wolven Skin" that somehow manages to conjure a thoughtful, reflexing atmosphere while simultaneously being very straightforward. This modus operandi lasts for the entirety of the EP, with particular emphasis towards the last, grandiose "Ave Fluvius! Danu Be Praised", which is essentially an amalgamation of Bölzer's best moments throughout the duration of Lese Majesty.
By all accounts, this record doesn't show any significant artistic or stylistic progress, though I think songwriting's major improvements since "Hero" is a noteworthy aspect that should be praised. Ultimately, Bölzer's success formula is still very effective: they do what they like, and they do it pretty damn well, even when it comes to refining certain tropes their previous works have left as a testimony of their creative wit.
Bölzer - Lese Majesty was released Nov. 29th, 2019 from Lightening and Sons
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.