24 Sep 2021

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Bridge Burner - Album Review: Disempath

30 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Following on from 2018’s Null Apostle, Auckland’s Bridge Burner are back with their second album, Disempath. Featuring guitarist Josh Hughes (Vassafor, Graves), vocalist Ben Read (ex-Ulcerate, In Dread Response), bassist Gary Brown, drummer Louis Malloy (ex-Anabyss) and guitarist Maxwell Gravelle (ex-Hexis, Setentis), here we have a group who are determined to push their music and their listeners to the very limits. Nine songs in 26 minutes, their debut for American label Hibernation Release shows the Auckland-based band in a very angry frame of  mind indeed. Their mix of D-beat, crust, death metal, hardcore, punk and even some black metal is packed full of passion as they rail against the world.

The band members have come together from different areas of extreme music, and here they combine all those elements into one metallic nightmarish onslaught. Josh manages to restrain his grind influences for the most part, but there are indeed times such as on Anodyne Existence where they just let rip. I was fortunate to catch these guys alongside Josh’s other band, Graves, last year and at the time I said it was the first time I experienced volume being used as a weapon. Those two bands are complementary but for the most part very different indeed, as while Graves are far more straightforward, here we have an extreme band really mixing it up, so that each number is quite different, often with multiple sections contained in songs which are generally less than 3 minutes long. There is a real understanding of the need for dynamics, so there are times when they slow it down, others when the onslaught is quite muted, providing room for Ben to vent his rage, while at others it is incredibly passionate, and everyone is piling the needles deep into the red. Closer Abyssal takes the band deep into black metal territory, and if the whole album had been like this, with the guys wearing some decorative corpse paint then we would be talking about it in a very different manner indeed. That is one of the real delights of this release, in that although it is always at the extreme end of metal there is no attempt to stay in just one sub-genre, but instead they go where the music takes them, bringing together whatever elements feel right at the time.

Drummer Louis often sounds as if he is frantically on his own, providing multiple different patterns within the same number, as bassist Gary tends to lock in with the guitars, providing a really heavy triple threat with Josh and Maxwell. One of the times I played the album I concentrated just on the drumming, as it is exhilarating to hear so much going on behind the kit, with a drummer bringing in double bass pedals, or frantic rolls around the kit, but always in total sync with what is going on in front of him. Louis is providing a platform which then allows the bass and guitars to create merry hell in an incredibly tight approach which refuses to stay still and conform to what anyone might expect. Riffs come and go, melodic patterns change, they interweave, and then often everything changes. In Flaying God’s Children there are a few total melodic changes in a song which is less than 4 minutes long which are totally unexpected and take the number to a whole new level.

Earlier this week I reviewed the latest album by Christchurch-based band Blindfolded and Led To The Woods, and here we have another extreme metal release which is also pushing boundaries. I gave that album 5 *’s, and it would be wrong of me not to do the same here, as while quite different this is also another significant release from Aotearoa. Play it loud. Very loud.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )


Year: 2021
Type: Album
Null Apostle
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Mantras of Self Loathing
Year: 2015
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Album Review: Black Alpine
19 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
The very first time I looked at the cover of this album I was reminded of Deep Purple’s In Rock, as even though that was a stylised version of Mount Rushmore, there we had dudes with long hair playing Seventies hard rock and that is the same here. I mean, we even have aviator sunglasses!
Secrets Of The Sun - Album Review: Obon
19 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Obon is the debut album from alternative metal band Secrets of the Sun, a quartet based in Wellington. It has been a while in the making, in that the first single, Suffer With The Moon, was actually released a year ago while Wretched Tracks came out in February: both are included here.
Written By Wolves - EP Review: Secrets - The Collab Project
16 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Since I started writing for New Zealand’s #1 music site, https://www.muzic.
Alien Weaponry - Album Review: Tangaroa
16 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt whatsoever that Alien Weaponry have captured the imagination not only of the New Zealand public, but metalheads worldwide, with their combination of groove and thrash metal mixing with their Maori heritage to create something very special indeed. There really is no other band quite like them, although I do sometimes find myself thinking of the impact of Sepultura and their Roots album, but one does need to remember that was Sepultura’s sixth album, some 12 years after their first release.
Domingo Candelario - EP Review: Sin Palabras
16 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Although there is always a very Cuban base to his music, Domingo has covered many different styles, as he transcends culture and language: music is about expressing emotions honestly and he tries to be as unique as he can.  As a child, his parents listened to a lot of Brazilian music, and he was fascinated by the way they used harmonies: it was so beautifully put together, so soft and in connection with the soul.
Glenn Bodger - Album Review: I'll Leave The Light On
16 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut solo album from Glenn Bodger, who provided most of the instrumentation himself, although he has also been assisted by former Braintree bandmate Darryn Harkness, who helped with additional guitar, bass and keyboards where required. From the gentle, almost cautiously picked acoustic guitar notes on opener I’ll Leave The Light On, we are brought carefully into a world which is dated yet fresh, comfortable but new, as he mixes together different musical elements in an independent, alternative style which is often somehow commercial and others when they are definitely not.
Samantha Josephine - EP Review: Fly Bird Fly
15 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Samantha Josephine's six-track Fly Bird Fly EP is less than 13 minutes long, but in many ways that makes total sense, as there is a feeling within this that we are being allowed into a secret and very personal world and that it would be intrusive to stay for too long. One can imagine Samantha performing in a corner, hoping that no-one will see or hear her, and when I read in her bio that only her girlfriend has seen her perform in the last year, and that even she is not allowed to be around when Samantha is writing, then it makes perfect sense.
The Night - Single Review: Untouchable
12 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
This cannot be right. According to the information I have in front of me, this Wellington-based band was formed from a group of music students in 2017, started performing live in 2018, and their ages now range from 15 to 18!
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
    Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow
    Ed Sheeran
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
    Glass Animals
    Billie Eilish
    Ed Sheeran
    Doja Cat
    Drake feat. Travis Scott
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem