Mister Bones – Monster Burn And The Power Seekers

What exactly would happen if one could strip metal away of all its elements except the blues from which it partially originated? Yet, despite stripping away these excess elements, what if you could retain the core of what ‘metal’ is, that pure sonic force and unquantifiable quality that we so desperately thirst for in our music? It seems like a strange idea, but Mister Bones, a Canadian outfit releasing their second studio LP with ‘Monster Burn And The Power Seekers’, has created just such a breed of metal, which, perhaps even more surprisingly, succeeds more often than not.

As described, what we have here is essentially a metalized variety of blues, with cues given to oldschool heavy, stoner, doom, and sludge. A comparison could be drawn to a less modern version of the bluesiest parts of Down, particularly on songs with an acoustic presence such as ‘Dark Days’. This is music firmly rooted in the oldschool; no obsessers of modernity or progression should be seeking this out. However, a lack of a typical form of ‘progression’ does not mean that Mister Bones is not unique; far from it, in fact. While there are hints towards other bands here and there, I’ve in general not heard many an artist that resembles the material here. The blues influence on this music cannot be understated; this is indeed metal’s natural incorporation of that genre in full, retaining every bit of it without sacrificing anything in the fusion.

Blues soaks this music in every instrument: bass, guitar, and drums are all highly blues-based, as well as the vocals, with a gruff, gravelly style which is so effective as to make you believe that the soul of some elder rocker was surely stolen for use on this album. While Mister Bones wanders to both sides of blues/metal spectrum, the majority of material here is a firm blend of both. Opener ‘Road Saw’ is a great example of this, maintaining bluesy riffing and rhythm but packing an undeniably metal attitude and intensity taken right out of Motörhead’s book. Lest you be concerned about the blues influence, Mister Bones most certainly knows how to rock the fuck out with a song like ‘5 Step Reason’, with its massive grooving main riff and savage vocal performance which owes as much to Judas Priest as it does to Muddy Waters. There’s a whole lot of asskicking present here.

But perhaps the best tracks are the most highly blues-inspired ones; not so much in instrumentation, but in mood and atmosphere. ‘The Crawl (Impossible 2nd Half)’ is easily the best track on here, very reminiscent of Down, and clearly deeply emotionally affecting to all the performers involved, with some absolutely honest and tormented lyrics in the true blues style. Other heavy contenders include ‘Dark Days’ and its Crowbar-style riffing patterns and simmering anger, and ‘Drug Related Venture”s jamming tone and Sabbathy lead guitar/drum interplay. With a massive eighteen tracks and eighty minutes of music, nearly everyone will find something that appeals to them on this disc. It’s pretty cool to see a band jamming as much material as possible on a CD in the era of thirty-minute album.

While those who staunchly reject any trace of blues in their music will definitely not be interested in this, I’d say that Mister Bones has crafted a damned fine album with ‘Monster Burn And The Power Seekers’. It’s heavy, it’s emotional, it’s varied yet consistently good; what more could you ask for? Not much. Give it a try.

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~ by noktorn on April 2, 2007.

One Response to “Mister Bones – Monster Burn And The Power Seekers”

  1. Sweet Review.. I think i might pick this album up..

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