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Bismuth – Unavailing (Box Records)

bismuth, unavailing, selective memory

There are crushing riffs embedded by the constructs of doom metal and then there is Bismuth. Unavailing may contain the most crushing slow-motion seismic metal riffs I have heard yet. They have taken the concept of slow, deep, and hard to heart and made that philosophy hyper-sensitive to their plight.




A double album of epic doom power play, only ethereal compositions emit from the Godzilla-like beats and power chord crunch, making every single note felt. The opening track, “Tethys,” is a homage to the aquatic sea goddess in Greek myth. An antithesis to what most metal bands would profess, Tethys was not really a cult feature to mythology and more of a representation of the natural state of the world. But if Bismuth has anything to do with it, it’s a force not to be reckoned with. “The Holocene Extinction” continues the aura of what Bismuth has started on Unavailing. More interpretive in musical thought, this song is not as in your face as others. The music almost serves as background to the idea of what the song is about. By the end of it, you feel matter implode upon itself. Which is great leeway into the hollow feeling of “Solitude and Emptiness.” The songs speaks for itself.

By the second album, we get a hefty 16-minute track that contains more of the fist-clenching slow burner. It’s as if the band wrote the song, then stripped things down to its rudimentary level and amplified the hell out of it. Prepare to be awed by the intensity of each single chord progression done at the speed of a snail’s pace.

Andrew Duncan
Dug out from a pile of zines and hot sauce, Andrew Duncan has contributed to many publications through the years, including Chord and work with the ever so spunky Readyset...Aesthetic! He now resides deep within your membrane.

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