Bosse-de-Nage Stand Tall on All Fours

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A tangible cloud of excitement has floated around Bosse-de-Nage since their first, self-titled full-length, and for good reason. The San Francisco quartet’s latest release, the incredible All Fours, is a unifying work combining strains of black metal and hardcore with vast ambiance and stunningly melodic instrumental work.

Those looking for technical wizardry should look elsewhere; the four men of Bosse-de-Nage play only what is absolutely necessary to achieve a complete and utter emotional deluge. The rough-hewn dynamics are impressive enough, but strip back a few of the more acerbic surface layers and underneath is a grandiose, broad album reaching for greatness. All Fours‘ separate parts are assembled with such precision as to never seem separate. Though the pieces at time occupy different layers of the atmosphere, no compositional gaps are left unattended. As a result, nothing ever sounds forced or like the band has bitten off more than they can chew.

washerwomanLook no further than opener “At Night” for proof of this. After a few brief seconds of black metal raging, the track breaks down into subtle drumming and lightly overdriven guitar before every element joins together and emits a mad bellow that refuses to let up for the rest of the album’s 54-minute running time, with Bosse-de-Nage only sparingly choosing to exert any kind of control. But the beast needs little taming: All Fours is a whirlwind but not one without sophistication, like a Frank Gehry sucked into a tornado.

Earlier I called this album “unifying,” and I mean that. All Fours supersedes any classifications as”hipster” or “trve” black metal. Bosse-de-Nage couldn’t care less if you bought your leather jacket at Urban Outfitters or if it’s covered in Nuclear War Now patches. Listeners with any interest in extreme music, regardless of their positioning across the spectrum of “kvlt”-ness, are sure to be stunned by this album. In a gorgeous, at times exuberant display of post-hardcore-influenced black metal precision and sprawling soundscapes, All Fours truly transcends arbitrary musical boundaries. It’s an album that has already been heaped with praise, but the manner in which it completely dismisses notions of genre proves it is not without reason.

At a fundamental level, the performances turned in by each member are beyond worthy of praise. Moments where the band strips back, like at the end of “In a Yard Somewhere,” allow vocalist B.’s screams to shine through. Awash with sorrow, his voice beckons like a hand in the darkness, tearing through his deranged soliloquies in an overwhelmingly desperate tone unlike any other.

washerwomanIn fact, the lyrics are a particular highlight of the album. Though B.’s shrieks are rarely all that intelligible, reading along with the lyrics only increases their affecting power. The spoken word Slint-worship of “Washerwoman” is a nice change of pace, with the lyrics taking an obvious foreground position for the first half of the song before B. returns to screaming his lungs out. Not that this is a problem, as his vocal performance carries with it an emotional heft heard nowhere else.

Of course, the band themselves are the reason much of the album works as well as it does. Bosse-de-Nage’s strongest suit is never succumbing to getting bogged down in their atmospheric tendencies. Dense guitar chords ring out across the landscape while the rhythm section blasts away below, but neither is sacrificed in favor of the other. The ambiance is given free rein to expand as it pleases but the crucial element of aggression is never lost. This skill has always been present in the band’s past work, but in the three years since their split with Deafheaven it has been artfully perfected.

Indeed, All Fours is a fine-tuning of the Bosse-de-Nage sound to nigh-perfection. The intensity on display is nothing short of overwhelming but the steady hand of control with which it is dealt matches their charge with catharsis every step of the way. Convincingly combining two extremes so disparate is an unlikely feat, but Bosse-de-Nage’s unwavering exactness make it work. The intuitive inventiveness the band has worked toward since their first demo in 2006 has bloomed and this brilliance is what gives All Fours the shadow it will cast over other metal in 2015. This album has been surrounded by no small degree of hype, but its release destroys any thought that it may be unjustified. For as vulnerable and fragile as its lyrics and music are, All Fours is at its most essential the work of a group of artists totally confident in their ability.

All Fours comes out April 14th. Pre-order the CD from Profound Lore and the vinyl from the Flenser.

  • Celtic Frosty

    It was released today on Bandcamp, FYI. One of the many reasons Profound Lore rules – they always make new shit available on BC the Friday before the official release date.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    This is great, who logged into Christian’s account and posted this?

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Liking this so far.

  • Sir Tapir the Based

    I digs/10

    • The Beargod

      Finally! We disagrees!!
      …This is actually nice. Shitfuck!!

      • Sir Tapir the Based

        We’re cursed.

        • Dr. Dubz

          *cute

          • **romantic

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            I don’tknow about Beargod, but I’m dimmadarn cute.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I’m dimmadarn handsome.

          • Guacamole Jim

            *cursed

          • The Beargod

            You say it like it’s a good thing.

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            2cute4you

          • The Beargod

            I’m mighty ugly. Like a proper Bear.

          • Dr. Dubz
          • omgyes

          • The Beargod

            I’m a special snowflake, I am. Not at all like the rest of this damned lot. (+ nobody even gets me)

          • Sir Tapir the Based

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            Tapirs are cute. It’s our weapon. Someone comes to pet us and we bite their fucking arms off.

  • The artwork is very tastefully 90s. Reminds me of Pizzicato Five for some reason.

  • Tyree

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      I love this picture but I also love Heafdeaven and their opus Sunbather.

      • KJM
        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          You don’t like them either? At least Masterpants still loves them.

          • Tyree

            No he doesn’t.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            Damnit. Am I alone when it comes to loving these guys?

          • bloodbearde probably does.

          • KJM

            YES.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            At least everyone hates Liturgy like I do. After listening to the Ark Work a few times i realized they are absolutely shitty.

          • George Clarke

            not everyone

            Ark Work >>>>>>

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            I do like them.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            At least someone likes them, even if it’s not a full liking.

          • Lots of people like Deafheaven. Lots of people dislike Deafheaven. The whole conversation is pretty tedious to have every single time they come up.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I agree. Let’s talk about something else. Anyone hear the new Enforcer album yet? It’s awesome

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            Would always listen to them over Bolt Thrower.

          • GUIDE TO SPICING UP THE COMMENTS SECTION:
            1.) BRING UP DEAFHEAVEN
            2.) ACCUSE EVERYONE OF LIKING DEAFHEAVEN
            3.) ARE PPL COMMENTING YET? NO? DRAG BOLT THROWER INTO THE MIX.
            4.) SIT BACK AND ENJOY

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            This.

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            Yo, that’s a lot of caps.

          • 5.) STILL NO COMMENTING? PROCLAIM TO BE A DAD ROCK EXPERT.
            6.) PROCLAIM TO BE NU-METAL MUSIC MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE
            7.) NOW SIT BACK AND ENJOY

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I’m not going to make that claim even with my extensive knowledge of both genres

          • <3

          • The Beargod

            You just set my mind to ease. Sweet relief of disagreement, how I missed you so, never leave me again babe.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I lovr Bolt Thrower.

          • Sir Tapir the Based

            I don’t.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I don’t love them, but I give Roads to Judah a spin every so often.

          • Personally, I kinda lost interest in the songs after about the second one. Pretty repetitive if you ask me.

          • George Clarke

            yes

          • Dr. Dubz

            That was just a joke we played on him for a long time. He hates Deafheaven.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I completely forgot that.

    • Do they speak kvlt in Deafheaven?

      • Tyree

        Say ‘Deafheaven’ again. Say ‘Deafheaven’ again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say Deafheaven one more Goddamn time!

      • George Clarke

        yes we do

        • Tyree

          SATAN.

    • CyberneticOrganism
  • The drumming in the song I played (All Fours) was insane.

    Good writing, Molenaar!

  • HessianHunter

    but are you gonna flush it or not

    i gotta know

  • Guacamole Jim

    Me pressing play on that song:

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view4/1513607/random-dancing-man-o.gif

    This is great shit, Mr. Molenaar.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Gah!

    • Dr. Dubz

      I kept expecting his willy to make an appearance.

      • Guacamole Jim

        I’ve been watching it for half an hour now with no such luck. A man can dream, though!

        • The Beargod

          It’s truly mesmerizing… The smirk on his face…

          • Guacamole Jim

            He is a man who loves life, and good jams, and paint colours. I aspire to such simple pleasures.

      • Tyree
        • *redacts great gif comment from earlier*

        • Guacamole Jim

          I have seen this man’s dong, in this very scene, from this very movie. ‘Twas more dong than I had expected to see.

          • Tyree

            Ever seen the movie Shame?

          • Guacamole Jim

            No, never.

            … do I want to?

          • Tyree

            It’s very good. Just, a lot of Michael Fassbender’s dong is all.

          • The Beargod

            Bought.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Huh. It looks pretty interesting. I may have to give this a go!

          • Tyree

            Same director that did 12 Years a Slave and Hunger.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            Liked both of those movies even if they were extremely hard to watch.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Steve McQueen? Very cool!!

          • Tyree
  • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel

    Someone must have mentioned this in a comment somewhere already, but for you streamers and dreamers, the new House of Atreus album is streaming in full over at IO.

    http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2015/04/exclusive-album-premiere-house-of-atreus-the-spear-and-the-ichor-that-follows/

    Preorder the bastard over at Dark Descent!

    • we’ve got some tough guys!

      • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel

        Haha, people over on the NWN! forums were actually talking a bunch of shit about the band’s appearance in these recent promo pics. I think they look a little too normal and “bro-ish” for the NWN! crowd (who are pretty much cretins, if you are at all familiar with them).

        • i was just poking fun. that album rips doe!!! thx for the rec, jimmajamm dean

        • Hey HD,

          Don’t you work in the maple syrup business? If so, I am sure you have been busier than hell of late!

          GL

          • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel

            I don’t actually sugar, but I work with a lot of the producers. They’ve been boiling like crazy. We’ve had a pretty good season for it in northern New England. And yes, it has been extremely busy–tax season, sugar season–lots of work.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      Is it good?

      • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel

        From what I’ve heard so far, yes. It’s very good. One of my most anticipated albums of 2015.

        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          I’ll give it a spin.

    • The Beargod

      I’m listening… I’m enjoying.

  • Washerwoman is a funky track. i was gonna say parts reminded me of Pavement, until i saw your mention of Slint — that’s it!
    all in all, this is good shvt, CM Punk

  • J.R.

    Ayy this is good!

  • George Clarke

    “I come from the City of Hair beyond the Wrinkled Mountain and I
    will not rest until I’ve washed every penis in this room.”

    best lyric

  • “vulnerable and fragile” sure is right…this porcelain torpedo broke right in half when I flushed it