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Bark: Rambler of Aeons

Belgium band Bark who hail from the undisputed diamond capital of the world, Antwerp, have returned with the next installment to their growing catalog and what they hope will be a diamond of their own. Following up on their previous two albums Like Humans Do and Written In Stone, Bark now deliver up their third full length offering in Rambler Of Aeons.

Categorizing Bark’s music is somewhat challenging. They manage to traverse multiple sonic landscapes while drawing from a fairly broad array of influences. Ranging from the earlier forms of classic heavy metal and NWOBHM in the form of Motorhead and Iron Maiden and then across into Hardcore and Thrash speed and aggression territory. They also have moments that could be considered melodic death metal with the catchy yet pummeling feel that comes with that subgenre. But overall what binds it all together is their version of Death’n’Roll which seems to permeate throughout the whole album.

Rambler Of Aeons opens with the title track and this is where we get them doing the Melodeath thing but already the Death’n’Roll is present as well. One of the strongest and most memorable tracks on the album with its strong melodic guitar lines and the confident screamed growls of Ron Bruynseels. His delivery throughout actually reminds me of Riley McShane (formerly of Allegaeon) in the rhythmic patterns he uses on the vocals with hints of old Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly) thrown in for good measure. “Underworld” is next and comes out swinging hard and fast and is another standout track with its thrashy aggression. Plenty of hard stomping mosh inducing riffs. “Are You With Me” is more of a straightforward heavy metal track but with a heavier modern sound. More of a mid-paced affair but with it’s own fair share of tasty head-banging riffs. “I’m Here For Rock’ N’ Roll” sounds like they took a Motorhead song and infused it with even more amphetamines than Lemmy would’ve had in his system at any given moment. The result is a heavy full frontal speed metal attack. “Dream On'' is another mid-paced chugging Death’n’Roll number with a healthy dose of melody. Guitarists Matt Furia and Toon Huet sprinkle in some extra flavor in the form of dual harmonized guitars. “Kid Giant” is more of a stomping modern metal track. A bit too much meat-head and not enough meat to really sink my teeth into on this one. Although that being said the mid section when the harmonized guitars take over is great stuff. With militaristic drums, Lemmy style fuzz bass and Iron Maiden worship guitar harmonies, another album highlight, “Back From The Grave”, comes marching out. The influences are very obvious here however it doesn’t in any way detract from the fun and power of this great track. “Messiah From Hell” confidently continues the Death’n’Roll assault and has one of the catchiest choruses on the album. “Dead Man’s Hand” also stays on this track as well, not deviating. “For A Legend” amps things up again though with thundering speed metal drumming from Ward Van der Straeten making his presence felt and again some exciting guitar riffing that blends death and speedy thrash in a very satisfying blend. “Fuck You Is My Ettiquette” is another pissed off high speed assault which may just have a bit too much adolescent angst in the lyrics for these grown men. In other words it does come a little close for comfort to crossing over into cringe territory lyrically. This is a recurring situation on the album but thankfully it never really gets to the tipping point. “Still Walking” is a slower more introspective modern heavy rock track with growled vocals and while there is some melody and it's certainly not terrible it does feel a bit flat compared to what came before. Finally on the CD version, Bark has the bonus track “Invisible People” which returns to the aggression that characterizes Rambler For Aeons. I think this would have been a better way to close out the album proper, rather than “Still Walking” which feels too lackluster in comparison.

I must give full disclosure here because I’ve always been a bit on the fence with Death’n’Roll. I love all the influences that went into Rambler Of Aeons, however I’ve always felt like the subgenre is either too heavy vocally or not heavy enough instrumentally. It’s a subgenre that seems like it’s floating in some nebulous no man's land, not quite knowing what it’s doing with itself. Rambler Of AeonsRambler Of Aeons is a fun heavy rocker that wears its influences proudly on its sleeve while also endeavoring to create something all their own. I'm not sure if they have succeeded on that last part and the target of new ground may have been missed but Rambler Of Aeons rocks nonetheless and fans of that style will surely find plenty to love.

Ron Bruynseels - Vocals
Martin Furia - Guitar
Toon Huet - Guitar
Jorn Van der Straeten - Bass
Ward Van der Straeten - Drums

‘Rambler of Aeons’ Tracklisting :

    01 Rambler Of Aeons 03:53
    02 Underworld 04:10
    03 Are You With Me ? 03:28
    04 I'm Here For Rock N’ Roll 02:51
    05 Dream On 03:52
    06 Kid Giant 04:05
    07 Back From The Grave 04:05
    08 Messiah From Hell 03:50
    09 Dead Man's Hand 03:36
    10 For A Legend 03:01
    11 Fuck You Is My Etiquette 03:04
    12 Still Walking 03:44
    13 Invisible People. (CD Exclusive Bonus Track) 03:26

Added: November 11th 2022
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 527
Language: english

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