Bones – Gate of Night

Band: Bones
Title: Gate of Night (EP)
Label: Blood Harvest Records
Release Date: 24 April 2020
Country: Belgium
Format Reviewed: Digital Promo

With a band called BONES on a label called Blood Harvest Records and an eerie EP cover depicting what seems to be a mysteriously flooded and mist-filled temple overrun with snakes and odd semi-human figures (all in shades of grey), you might not expect to hear some exuberantly slick power metal, complete with stadium-ready Dio-style operatic vocals, but that’s exactly… I’m joking, I’m joking, it’s filthy Death Metal all the way folks!

Formed in 2010, Belgium’s BONES (not to be confused with the 42 other bands listed on Discogs called BONES) are Stef – Guitars/Vocals, Jeroen – Lead Guitar/Vocals, Viktor – Drums, and Laurens – Bass. After a demo in 2013 and 2014’s Awaiting Rebirth EP, the band returns with “Gate of Night” a two-track EP, harking back to the grimy, chaotic nastiness of old-school Death Metal.

First track “Utterance Beyond Death” sets the tone with a stomping mid-paced, pounding rhythm, alternating with a more furiously charging pace. There’s a looseness to the playing that isn’t sloppy but gives the music a satisfyingly lurching, lumbering feel, like an ogre crushing and careering through the forests, unconcerned as it barrels into trees, breaking branches and tearing flesh.

The heavy, dirty and noisy production, alongside the pounding percussion, fast, strangling, guitar lines and deep, growling vocals will all be very familiar for anyone who enjoys Death Metal; an interesting twist comes in the form of a trippy, mid-track breakdown, where it’s as if the track exploded and fragments are all flying through the air before everything comes back down to earth and the band fires into a final furious charge.

This makes a very enjoyable appetizer to the near 7minute main course of the title track. Starting out with brutal pounding percussion and jagged, cutting guitars, everything is suddenly ground to an ominous, ugly pause as if catching breath before charging forward once again. The track morphs through various phases of varying speeds, stops, and starts, with riffs coming in and going out again. The repeated slamming of the breaks is accompanied by huge, deep crashing chords and suitably menacing growls and the track never loses momentum, as the tempos fluctuate. The band shows they can throw in the occasional cascading guitar solo too, adding some more sonic textures, for the most part, though it’s pounding, a grimy heaviness that really carries these two tracks.

If you are looking for some honest to goodness aural bludgeoning with a nasty edge to it, you will find a friend here in BONES. Nothing so out of the ordinary, but a very decent dose of Death Metal if you’re looking for your regular shot in the arm. 7/10 Tom Boatman 

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