BEAR – ‘///’ (Album Review)
UPDATE: TMMP has been reborn! This video has the full story:
Belgian math-metallers BEAR have made a name for themselves as Europe’s answer to The Dillinger Escape Plan.
With Dillinger set to split before the end of the year, the race is on to crown the new kings of mathcore. BEAR have already proven themselves as worthy contenders, and /// carves that fact in stone.
BEAR’s list of influences runs longer than just one band. The spirit of both Meshuggah and Converge was especially prominent on BEAR’s second album, Noumenon. This time around, you’ll find plenty of Slipknot-inspired riffs and grooves – especially on lead single, Masks.
Masks is really catchy, and sees BEAR step up their songwriting skills – but as great as it is, it wasn’t my favourite track from ///.
Blackpool blends Dillinger and Deftones perfectly. Those are two of the best bands in the world, so I fucking loved it. It’s a hell of a way to start an album.
Hounds combines Slipknot-style chorus hooks with slap-bass barrages that reminded me of Converge. Childbreaker is a dark track with a dark title, drawing again on classic Slipknot and Meshuggah – and it is relentless. Knives Are Easy contains one of ///‘s sickest beatdowns, buried amongst a ton of face-melting riffage, and The Oath is super diverse, seeing BEAR nod in Deftones’ direction again while also diving into Tool territory at one point.
The seventh track is appropriately called 7 – and it is a beast.
It’s slow, it’s doomy, and it also features a scream so long that by the end, I was laughing in disbelief. Some people say that screaming isn’t musical – but on 7, that scream, that one single scream, proves otherwise. Who needs a big, lush, fancy synth chord when your vocalist can scream like that?
Beyond Klank (a brief but heavy interlude) come Raw and Construct.Constrict, which return to BEAR’s classic sound with some tweaks and upgrades. Then we’re on to the final track, Adjust.Adapt.
By this point, you might feel like you know what to expect as BEAR rev up another Slipknot riff and fit it over a Meshuggah-like groove. But BEAR have a final trick up their sleeves. Adjust.Adapt breaks from crushing, oppressive riffs into a vast, dense wall of sound that’ll be instantly familiar to fans of Devin Townsend.
Eventually a choir joins the mix, the band fades out, and the choir brings this album to the perfect conclusion.
The moment you press play again, and Blackpool gets going, it becomes instantly obvious that BEAR have created a masterpiece.
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/// drops on April 7 via Basick Records – preorder it on iTunes here.
See you in the next video!