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Barishi: Blood from the Lion's Mouth

I've had two songs from this album on a steady rotation lately. The first, "Death Moves in Silence," features some of the band's best proggy material, mostly in the form of a smooth and fascinating guitar riff. For the first several minutes, the song repeats that riff, shifting here and there into further progressive and fascinating passages. From there, the song explodes into slightly more familiar territory: growling vocals and a heavier low end. Still, the song never veers completely away from the chord progressions and the time signature it sets up from the start. This is a strong marriage between progressive music and heavy metal. This is easily one of the best songs on this album and is one I'd recommend checking out.

The other track I've listened to multiple times is "Bonesetter." The track opens with a mix of mysterious voices that intone a chant of sorts. Shortly after the voices start, the drums kick in some killer rhythms that match things perfectly. This is one of the best openings on the album and also one of the most intriguing. I was completely mesmerized by what I heard here and, as I said, I listen to it regularly. Barishi knows how to capture a listener's attention and I think they are showing incredible maturity both in songwriting and performance here. The key to understanding a band like this is focusing on the way things come together. By that, I don't mean a steady alteration of progressive music and heavy metal, but the intersection of the two that seeks to discover new possibilities, interesting rhythms, and an uncanny beauty. Tracks like "Grave of the Creator" illustrate the band's strengths particularly well.

The music on this album is consistently heavy, even when things turn toward the progressive. Obviously, there's no necessary contradiction between the two styles but some bands handle the various components better than others and I think Barishi is demonstrating a mastery of things that is uncommon for a band as young as this one is. I enjoyed the instrumental passages more than the vocal passages but only because the guitar stirs up such good riffs that I couldn't get enough. Nevertheless, the vocals are consistently rough and powerful, taking listeners into the heart of the music in impressive ways. There are no clean vocals on this album even though the band has used them in the past from time to time.

This is a terrific and highly recommended album from Season of Mist. It wasn't that long ago that Barishi was up-and-coming but didn't quite have a firm footing in the market. Now that they are signed to Season of Mist the band can enjoy discovering new fans and new possibilities. Even better, the album pursues music that discovers just what progressive metal can do, what its limitations are, and how they can be exceeded or expanded. The result is sometimes colorful, beautiful, haunting, strange, and intriguing.

Track Listing:
1. Grave of the Creator
2. Blood from the Lion's Mouth
3. The Great Ennead
4. Death Moves in Silence
5. Master Crossroads, Baron Cemetery
6. Bonesetter
7. The Deep
8. The Spectral Order

Added: September 30th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 1180
Language: english

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