– 2019 was a good year for metal it seems. As well as a strong set of releases from some well-known acts, we assisted to some great live shows, and many other bands were ready to take music seriously. “Lese Majesty” was one such ambitious work, and serves as a reminder of the power of creating music, as opposed to shoving disparate styles together and calling it innovation.
The legendary Bölzer return with this brand new EP, “Lese Majesty”, composed by four epic tracks of occult grandeur, constructed as homage to the ancient world.
Bölzer were formed 2008 in Zürich, as a magickal duo project of KzR and HzR. The band released one full-length, two EP’s and one Demo and they continuously evolve into a full band of menacing uniqueness.
The common human trait of seeking divinity, whether a conscious effort or subconscious manifestation, is something that still holds true in these times of idolatry and confusion. Bölzer gives this trait majesty and grandeur with this EP.
“A Shepherd in Wolven Skin” was the first song that I’ve listened to. In this song, the technique to stretch out these simple yet well-crafted riffs brings this tasteful layering of other influences atop. Of course, simplicity is key to maintaining the impact of these elements throughout the EP. “Æstivation” brings us to the core-concept to this EP. It may be basic, and short, built on a simple journey with tension and release worked throughout the middle, but sometimes the plainest of canvasses can give rise to the most powerful of artistic statements. One can hear elements of the past records, pagan influences, and even some prog leanings as well.
Bölzer is a typical example of a band that manages to stand out in this whole new wave of black metal. Bölzer operates through a formula that has been proven quite effective and is actually what every worthy underground metal band does.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this EP might be that it seemingly came out of nowhere. Bölzer’s previous album was good, with classical displays of blackened orthodoxy, but in no way did they foreshadow the leap in both style and substance the band has displayed on this EP.
I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for this experiment and space-stretching fantasy that this EP so effortlessly embodies; the “trance” effect created by the drum pace attacks is quite unique on this recording. What Bölzer accomplish over the course of these four tracks could be the sum of the past releases.
“Lese majesty” sums up esoteric themes, dense production and vile riffs. The results are nothing but stunning. Wise lyrics and musical structure give this EP a sound that is absolutely impenetrable.
The riffs are thick and heavy, pressing the listener like humid air. Although the intense atmosphere is bearable because of the groovy riffs, the drumming gives heaviness to the melodies.
Like trying to escape a maze but always ending up right back where you started, “Lese Majesty” balances innovative composition with addictive melodies. All four songs on this EP manages to be intricate and devastating at the same time.
While the arrangements may seem straightforward at first, they’re not. It is impossible to catch every layer of the song within the first few listens, not a chance. Beneath the seemingly chaotic, patterns of guitar and drums, there is a number of details going on. Here comes the innovation of this band: not so traditional riffs, a dynamic rhythm and a material packed with ideas.
Some of the best bands of this time are getting buried in the underground. I guess that’s the downside of being ahead of the time, nobody notices you until the game is over or you don’t what to play it anymore. Either way, Bölzer is a mandatory name on the list for anyone who likes weird extreme metal in general, and “Lese Majesty” is a great starting point for that journey.