- Further Still
- Experimental Black Metal/Hardcore
Further Still, an experimental take on the genre that Boss-de-Nage have crafted over a lot of stylistically similar releases. Basically, it’s a combination of black metal, post metal and hardcore but in a way that’s balanced between the three. The fusion is astounding, I love it.
The vocals on this album have great delivery. It’s usually hardcore vocals with parts that go over to the black metal side a bit more but largely we’re hearing deep-rooted hardcore vocals. What I like most about them is the way the lyrics are presented in a hardcore fashion but the lyrics are black metal in tone and structure. It carries a unique voice. There’s an obvious appreciation for both kinds of vocal styles present on this record and it explores a lot of new uses for tired genre tropes.
The instruments are performed well, and the production did a lot to cross over the hardcore and black metal segments and riffs so that they blended across the album. It never feels too much in one direction, it takes the techniques from one genre and applies the sound mix of the other and vice versa. Post metal comes in more prominently with the guitars creating a layer of sound that soars over the rest of the mix during some songs, a lot like ISIS or Explosions In The Sky. It works into the rest of the album flawlessly. It was as if these three things were meant to be played together but were discovered separately and told by an authority that they should never be mixed. Only because if they were mixed, bands would unlock infinite power and change music forever.
I think even the awesome and minimalist album art reflects the crossover of genre. The smaller red space is the hardcore aspect and the hand is reaching out of it and into the eternal void. It’s a kind of growth or evolution, the rage has shifted and darkened. Becoming both harsh and melancholic in equal strokes. Perhaps it represents the transition from adolescence into adulthood and the continuation of the suffering to unfathomable lengths. So yeah that’s me talking out of my ass again, I haven’t read that anywhere or heard the band mention anything like it.
These guys have aptly collaborated with Deafheaven before, who are a favorite of mine. If I had to compare Bosse-de-Nage to anyone it would be Deafheaven. Musically speaking the influences are hard to determine down to a band comparison level because they are obviously varied. This is some original music by well informed musicians. A lot of people might think of different things when they think of ‘hardcore’ influence in metal, perhaps they imagine metalcore, djent or post-hardcore, just to be clear – this is taking from proper modern hardcore like Baptists, Nails and Fucked And Bound. The experimentation at hand here calls to mind some of Voivoid‘s work (review).
For the majority of the record the music goes hard but despite this and the average album length, it feels too quick. I was surprised when I found I was near the end, perhaps because I was listening so intently and with such interest. It is difficult to find a fault, it’s pretty much spot on and whether or not anyone enjoys it simply comes down to personal taste.
Experimentation within black metal can be a risk but Further Still effectively makes a musical statement.