Bezoar – Wyt Deth (No World Order)
Released: January 20, 2012
Brooklyn trio BEZOAR describes themselves as stoner psychedelic doom metal, which is pretty accurate, but above all else, they are WEIRD. The band name alone should have given some indication. WTF is a “bezoar” anyway? I had to google it, only to find a wikipedia article defining it as “a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system” that is “believed to to have the power of a universal antidote against any poison”. Well if the shoe fits…
I mean “weird” in the best way possible, as BEZOAR‘s first full-length is a straight-up heavy metal headcase, twisting and turning until you’re hopelessly lost in the majestic fuzzy wonderland they’ve maniacally created. Whether it’s the grim folk intro and interludes of “Burn Everything” and “Nikola”, respectively, or the sludgy gloom and doom of “Vitamin B”, BEZOAR constantly keeps you guessing.
The group is led by bassist Sara Palmquist, who commands an eerie presence over the entire record. Her vocal delivery fits the music perfectly, in a SubRosa kind of way, and is never too polished for the accompanying music (I’m looking in your direction, The Devil’s Blood). She also occasionally inflects Jarboe yelps and shrieks, like on “Clocktower”. In addition, she makes good use of some trippy bass guitar effects, which kickstart a few tracks.
Guitarist Tyler Villard showcases his dynamic playing, chugging out riffs like Sleep and YOB as well as creating a wall of noise in the vein of Sonic Youth and Swans. Rounded out by drummer Justin Sherrell, also proficient at his instrument, the three compliment one another well. No track is a better example of their tight cohesive playing and songwriting than album highlight “Are We Not Alone”, a nine minute up-and-down pounding with ringing feedback leads, furious drumming, and well-executed vocal harmonies.
Make no mistake, Wyt Deth can prove to be a challenging listening experience. BEZOAR‘s song arrangements may run deep and distant, but they’re never pretentious. There’s just something about the hauntingly magical collection of songs here that demands repetitive plays. I wish more bands would go the weird route.