Metal Storm logo
Bossk - Migration review



Reviewer:
7.7

32 users:
7.16
Band: Bossk
Album: Migration
Release date: June 2021


01. White Stork
02. Menhir [feat: Johannes Persson]
03. Iter
04. HTV-3 [feat. Josh Mckeown]
05. Kibo
06. Lira
07. Unberth


Hardly the most prolific studio band, Bossk compensate for the infrequency and slimlined nature of their releases with reliable good quality.

Anyone who's been to a post-metal gig in the UK in the past decade had a good chance of seeing Bossk as one of the supporting bands, and many more outside of the UK are likely familiar with the band due to the origin of their name (a bounty hunter from Star Wars). However, despite having formed over 15 years ago, Migration is only their second full-length record; two highly promising early EPs were followed by a four-year hiatus, with the band only dropping their debut record, Audio Noir, in 2016. With less than 2 hours of music committed to tape in 15 years, Bossk have very much made their reputation as a live band, but Migration sees the band offering slightly more of themselves to the public in studio form.

A major point of note on Migration is the absence of vocalist Sam Marsh on the record; the reason for this absence is not entirely clear, as Marsh is still a member of the band, but it does have a substantial impact on the record. The album is mostly instrumental, although it does feature Johannes Persson of Cult Of Luna and Josh Mckeown of Palm Reader as guest vocalists on "Menhir" and "HTV-3", respectively (several members of Endon also contributed to the album, including the sadly departed Etsuo Nagura).

The inclusion of Persson is quite fitting, as when looking for reference points for Migration, the easiest comparison to make is with Cult Of Luna, specifically their Vertikal era, as well as the sonically similar The Moth Gatherer. Persson's roars, combined with the trudging metallic stomp of the beginning of "Menhir" and the atmospheric electronic layers on the song, not to mention the monochrome artwork, make comparisons with Vertikal almost unavoidable. The comparisons aren't so glaring outside of this song, although the electronic-only introductory track "White Stork" gives off similar vibes.

"White Stork" is one of three tracks on Migration that fall into the 'interlude' category (albeit this one opening the album), alongside "Iter" and "Kibo", meaning that there's effectively only four 'proper' tracks on Migration. Of these, "HTV-3" is the most up-tempo, with the driving rock riffs in its heavier moments calling back to previous Bossk songs like "Atom Smasher" and "Pick Up Artist". Mckeown's mixture of screamed and clean vocals offer an interesting dimension that is otherwise missing on Migration, but the song still naturally follows the heavy/soft template of post-metal.

"Lira" is the longest song here, and the one that perhaps explores furthest into those heavy and soft possibilities; uplifting post-rock tremolo, subdued bass-driven downtime and electronic ambience are countered by slow, dense, stomping metallic trudges, with a particularly bruising one encountered about two-thirds of the way through. "Unberth" never approaches these depths; instead, this song explores lighter textures with a mixture of noise, ambience and post-rock instrumentation giving the album a soft yet captivating conclusion.

Migration is on the whole a solid effort; as a big Cult Of Luna fan, the Vertikal worship on "Menhir" is right up my street, whilst "Unberth" is a really compelling ending to the album. However, the album on the whole does feel a bit lightweight; whether it's the lack of Marsh's vocals, or the fact that over 10 minutes on a 40-minute album are taken up solely by interlude-style segments, but whilst I enjoy Migration, I do find myself left slightly unfulfilled when the album is finished, particularly since it's been a whole 5 years since Audio Noir. I believe the album would've definitely benefited from an additional full song to flesh it out a bit more; still, I don't have any real complaints about the material that did find its way onto Migration.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8





Written on 20.06.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 81 users
21.06.2021 - 10:54
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Thanks for the review.
----
The sun shines over The Fool...
Loading...
21.06.2021 - 19:59
Great review that perfectly sums up the album's strong and weak points.

For me, the two tracks with vocals are the highlights of the record. The rest lacks the dynamics the vocals added to those two. As a whole, it's a step back in quality from their EPs, in my opinion. I also find the singer's absence strange. They rarely record, so why do it without the singer? I hope there's no health issue behind this and that it was a mere artistic choice.

And I'm going to check out The Moth Gatherer now!
Loading...
21.06.2021 - 21:19
musclassia

Written by SchrödingersDog on 21.06.2021 at 19:59

I also find the singer's absence strange. They rarely record, so why do it without the singer? I hope there's no health issue behind this and that it was a mere artistic choice.


One review I saw mentioned 'unexpected last minute issues', which doesn't really clear things up - maybe it was like they were going to record the vocals but then lockdown came in and stopped it, but you'd feel like they'd just wait it out in that case; if you put out albums once every 5 years, what's another couple of months to just book in a day (their albums are pretty sparse on vocals so you'd reckon they could do them in a day) to lay the vocals down and put out the intended record?

Written by SchrödingersDog on 21.06.2021 at 19:59

And I'm going to check out The Moth Gatherer now!


Hope you enjoy, their second album is really great, whilst the most recent one from 2019 has quite big Vertikal vibes too
Loading...
22.06.2021 - 23:48
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Lira is my SOTY year so far. Love the ebbs and flows. I read they have made enough material for future releases so they streamlined this release a bit, teaser sort of. Excellent review and thanks.
----
rekt
Loading...
23.06.2021 - 14:04
Written by musclassia on 21.06.2021 at 21:19

One review I saw mentioned 'unexpected last minute issues', which doesn't really clear things up - maybe it was like they were going to record the vocals but then lockdown came in and stopped it, but you'd feel like they'd just wait it out in that case; if you put out albums once every 5 years, what's another couple of months to just book in a day (their albums are pretty sparse on vocals so you'd reckon they could do them in a day) to lay the vocals down and put out the intended record?


It reminds a bit of a reversal of The Ocean's Pelagial where the album was intended to be instrumental and the singer became fit in the last second. Maybe it was the other way around for Bossk, like an injury of his voice shortly before the recordings or something. Let's hope that everyone's okay and keep our fingers crossed for future releases!


Written by musclassia on 21.06.2021 at 21:19

Hope you enjoy, their second album is really great, whilst the most recent one from 2019 has quite big Vertikal vibes too


Currently listening to the record you mentioned and find it really enjoyable. Thanks for the tip!
Loading...
23.06.2021 - 14:14
musclassia

Written by SchrödingersDog on 23.06.2021 at 14:04

It reminds a bit of a reversal of The Ocean's Pelagial where the album was intended to be instrumental and the singer became fit in the last second. Maybe it was the other way around for Bossk, like an injury of his voice shortly before the recordings or something. Let's hope that everyone's okay and keep our fingers crossed for future releases!


I actually got pretty major flashbacks to Pelagial myself whilst reading up about the vocal situation on this album! As teamster mentioned above, there seem to be indications that they've got more material already in the pipeline, in which case let's hope any issues he has are sorted by then
Loading...

Hits total: 1191 | This month: 39