Having impressed both fans and critics alike with 2014ís thrashtastic Plastic Wasteland, German psych-rockers Bone Man are back with Shapeshifter, a re-recorded re-imagining of the very same 2011 debut that brought them to the attention of Pink Tank Records.
And with tracks as striking, creative and downright monstrous as these, itís no wonder that the flavor of the month indie label were quick to add Bone Man to their already heavyweight roster.
Sounding at times like goth lords Bauhaus getting all nihilistic over some of the more tripped out, psychedelic james left behind by The Doors, and at others like Glenn Danzig covering Seasons in the Abyss era Slayer, Shapeshifter is as entirely an appropriate title as any for an LP which constantly shifts and slides from one influence to the next with a beautifully subtly.
From the desert rock theatrics of the title track -the sort of thing you could well imagine soundtracking some kind of big budget horror movie about ancient Egyptian vampires- through the subdued, folk-rock leanings of The Wicker Man, and well beyond, you hear Bone Man physically and musically shape shifting, morphing themselves into something new and yet equally as enthralling with each track.
The further they go into the realm of twisted madness that is this LP, the more you hear the band containing their grandiose fusion of influences to fit the lyrical subject matter, moving from the harrowing demonic moans of some lost soul, screaming out of the darkness to the punk rock baritone of tracks like Desert (a song which owes more than a nod to Type O Negative at their most fast and furious) whilst guitars lunge and grind and holler and cry against thunderstruck drums and a scuzzy undercurrent of bass.
The result is a fascinatingly tormented odyssey of pained vocals and shrieking guitars, a journey into the darkest of the dark to a place where European folklore meats with Eastern influences to create a an LP that is at once thrilling, chilling, and utterly mesmerizing.
Western Europe meets the Middle East in a fascinatingly tortured album which channels everything from The Doors to Type O Negative.
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