Brawling, squalling, and impossibly contagious, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is an album which charms and harms the senses for easily one of the most thrilling and exciting albums this year. Its sculptors are UK rockers Bovine, a band who has set another bench mark within the realm of exhausting sludge, rapacious heavy rock, and predatory progressive metal alchemy. Released via FDA Rekotz, their new album is a scintillating and threatening tempest of insatiable invention and primal aggression fused into an even greater storm of muscular sounds and equally imposing intensity brought with a sonic persuasion as addictive as it is viciously imaginative.
Tapping up the keen essences of the likes of Mastodon, Kyuss, Black Tusk, and Soundgarden and twisting them into veining for their own startling invention, Bovine has created a brute of an album which is forever evolving and turning on the senses for an unpredictable and compellingly enthralling confrontation. With melodies and barbed hooks as lethal and addictive as the primal rhythms and carnivorous riffing, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is nothing less than an album of the year contender.
From the short opening ambient instrumental Barium, there is little warning of what is to follow, its dawning haunting atmosphere a portent of something sinister yet undefined. What does step from its chilled shadows is the rapacious assault Ghost Chair, a track bruising the ear within a short breath of time with crippling rhythms from drummer Damon Cox and the scything and searing guitars of Marcus VVulfgang and Thomas Peckett. Within their encounter on the senses the bass of Christophe Schaunig prowls and leers with pure intimidation whilst the vocals of VVulfgang roar and soar across the attack with a clean but snarling might. Across its blistering presence the shifts in pace and energy are demanding with equally rich rewards, the greed of the guitars and drums insatiable as is their inventive rage whilst all the while that bass stalks and hounds with a resonating beauty.
From the staggering start things only crave and succeed in grabbing a bigger slice of the passions firstly with Thank Fuck I Aint You and then Heroes Are What. The first of the pair is a blaze of towering rhythmic persuasion and burning sonic voraciousness with an urgency to brand the senses with scorching melodic mastery and crushing riffs bound in a ravenous expulsion of bone splintering rhythms and gluttonous intensity. The track devours the ear and beyond, finding an absence of resistance for its appetite in return. The second of the pair takes all that came before and stops it in its tracks, the acoustically led emotive caress with equally expressive vocals a smouldering invitation. This is just its opening gambit though and a minute into its journey the song unleashes another tirade of malevolent rhythmic bombardment from Cox and a furnace of caustic sonic fire. Like the previous songs the stoner/sludge like components are an open vein yet the pulverising onslaught of every atom of the track is an intensely textured maelstrom of diverse and riveting sounds, peel them away layer by layer and the eclectic and resourceful invention in place is as riveting and impressive as the overall results.
The title track emerges with Cox and Schaunig in control, the metronomic demanding of the drums courted by the bestial throaty grizzle of the bass. A shimmering heat soon is expelled by the guitars to offer a sultry caress to the commanding core, the union leading into a fuller flame of irresistible brilliance. Arguably with a recognisable yet impossible to define breath to its voice, the track is a grunge lilted crawl over the ear with climatic crescendos of seismic intensity and another major highlight on the release which hands over to a fellow conspirator in securing long-term ardour. The Battle Of The Sinkhole is a sensational carnal consumption with an invidious swagger to its debilitating corrosive attack. Again there is something familiar at work but mere intrigue to the enormous rage of malicious beauty at play. As with all tracks the progressive persuasion ensures its voice is heard to bring further mesmeric temptation to the infernal intrusion, and as the song offers its full abrasion things really can get no better.
Of course the likes of I Will Make You Real and Military Wife disagree, both songs making their own distinct and voracious declaration. Across the whole of the album the variety and diversity of sound and imagination is as enrapturing as the sounds and this pair is no different, the first seducing thoughts and passions with a twisting spiral of sonic grooves and scarring riffs with the drums beating a submission out of the listener with jolting invention which borders on emotional and physical affray whilst the second opens up its stoner cauldron for a breath taking excursion through fervent sonic and melodic passional ferocity.
As the equally stunning Not Another Name brings the aural convulsion of invention and bewitching imagination to a close with arguably its finest moment, though admittedly that choice changes constantly, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is a release you cannot escape from and the temptation to re-enter its torrents of delicious abuse impossible to refuse. If there has been a better senses battering passion feeding album this year so far we missed it but doubt that there will be many this year which will rival Bovine’s exceptional release.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from