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Quiet Earth

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Album Review

Canadian sludge metal quartet Bison B.C.'s debut disc, Earthbound, was released on a tiny label and reached virtually no one outside their home country. Fortunately for them, someone at Metal Blade Records heard it, and signed the group. This sophomore release packs a lot of chugging power, slobbering and stampeding at the listener like their namesake animal and offering some moments of pure hard rock glory (the bass break on "Slow Hand of Death," for one) that will almost certainly inspire the majority of listeners to headbang furiously. They've got a softer side, too, sort of; sometimes they get atmospheric, as on the string intro to the High on Fire-ish "Wendigo, Pt. 1: Quest for Fire," and it only serves to make the inevitable displays of skull-punishing riffage that much more awesome. Comparisons to Mastodon (named for a big mammal, specializing in crushing riffs with occasional arpeggiated adornments, broadminded lyrical subject matter) are inevitable but not totally apt. The most obvious difference is that Bison's drummer, Brad MacKinnon, is much less hyperactive than Mastodon's Brann Dailor. Still, if one were to play this album alongside Mastodon's Remission, the similarities would quickly become hard to ignore. But it rocks, so what the hell, right?

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Canadian doom metal outfit Bison B.C. (the "B.C." was added as a precautionary measure to avoid any potential legal problems with bands that were inspired to name themselves after the same beast) grew out of the fertile ground of popular Vancouver "skate-thrash" band S.T.R.E.E.T.S. The quartet, which features guitarist/vocalist James Farwell, guitarist/vocalist Dan And, bass player Masa Anzai, and drummer Brad MacKinnon, brought its punk and hardcore roots to the sludge metal slab for its debut album,...
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Quiet Earth, Bison B.C.
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