East meets West in the Land Down Under. The mysterious group Bak hailing from Australia gives you a magical musical ride where metal is a passenger on the Marrakesh Express! Haunting, gripping eastern sounds fill the senses while modern metal fuels this trip. This one is a riveting slice of music that knows no bounds. Bridging the genre gap in such a way that you will be enthralled by their ability to create something totally new and delightful. You can definitely draw some comparisons to the band Orphaned Land and I strongly suggest any fan of that band check out Bak. With a similar type of approach, Bak actually leans more to the traditional Eastern flavor and adds some dynamite metal as the spice.
Traditional instrumentation hits you at the start of this disc as you start on "The Search". This mostly instrumental piece sets a tone where you may be in the caravan looking for that oasis in the desert. It is easy to envision the shifting sands and blazing sun as Bak carries you far away to a place where the ancient has not been spoiled by modern life. They take you to a land where mysticism and beauty go hand in hand. Do yourself a favor and take the journey with them. It will be a joyous ride through many a different territory that all have an underlying theme which makes this band and this album unique.
When they ask the musical question "Why" you might not find the answer but you will enjoy how they pose the question. This is one song where the blend is spot on terrific with a magnificent Eastern feel that is being constantly invaded by the metalheads within the band. This is the norm though with this disc. It is a constant and superb effort that should be savored by music lovers.
The one time where they seem to abandon the Eastern mode is on the album closer "The Lament of Curtain Von Schnauzer". This soulful piano piece is kind of like the band riding off into the desert sunset at the end of movie. It is really what you would call their most progressive metal moment on the album and it is a magnificent way to leave you wanting more.
I cannot find out a lot of information about the band. They seem to want to be as mysterious as the land that they depict in their music. All I can tell you is that members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and ethnic musicians helped create this disc. If you open the page bakmusic.com all you get is one screen with their logo. Their myspace page is void of any information on the band. No matter, whoever is behind this work has some serious musical background and really knows how to capture the listener with an amazing blend of musical styles. Not only that, the lead singer whoever he is has a perfect voice for this genre. He brings an air of the haunting ancient yet also has a real growl to fire up the metalheads. Combining that with some serious guitar work, soothing sitar and lush orchestration makes this a real treat. Few disc get as much airplay in this house with all the disc that I receive but this one kept getting put back in the player time and time again. It still remains near me, ready to be put to good use in a moments notice.
To put it simply, order your Bak Pak today. When mine got here there was a very cool promotional surprise inside. I would have to say it is one of the most unique advertising pieces I have seen but I will not spoil it for you. This is a dynamite package and some of the most riveting music I have heard this year. It is easily on my best of list and should be on yours too!!!!
1. The Search
3. Can't Understand
4. Not Just Your World
7. Our Time
9. Sands of Time
10. The Lament of Curtain Von Schnauzer