ALBUM REVIEW | Bolywool - Hymnals & Bombs

a1302819815_16ARTIST: Bolywool

RELEASE: Hymnals & Bombs

RELEASE DATE: 2nd March 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Novoton 

Bolywool is a Borgholm/Gothenburg-based duo consisting of cousins Calle Thoor and Oskar Erlandsson. Collectively the duo create melancholic journeys through experimental soundscapes, skirting the outer fringes of ambient shoegaze and atmospheric post-rock. Bolywool have been writing, recording and releasing music since 1998. Their latest fourteen-track opus entitled ‘Hymnals & Bombs’ had its official release on March 2nd 2016 via Swedish independent record label Novoton.

‘Hymnals & Bombs’ opens with the reverb-drenched instrumental ‘Svart Hav’. Massive cinematic-styled synth swells gorge on the atmospheric ripples created by its impressive sound waves, heralding the entry point to this monolithic fourteen-track opus. Track two, ‘Electric Mainland’, is cushioned on a bed of expertly sequenced drum patterns, soaring synth swells and impressively layered dual vocal progressions that draw the listener in and gently caresses the senses. ‘Love Meander’ swims in a sea of reverb with its beautiful vocal lines complimenting each other to stunning effect, whilst ‘Out Of Sight Of You’ is a slice of sonically vivid post-rock. ‘The Noctilucent Cloud Pt1’ has psychedelic tendencies swirling within its impressive soundscape, as wave upon wave of impressive synth and addictive guitar stabs evoke a sense of calm. ‘Open Your Eyes’ drones within a state of suspended animation as the hauntingly brilliant hypnotic vocal track builds and builds within a maelstrom of shimmering noise! Eventually we’re treated to a break of sorts, reminiscent of waves crashing on a storm-lashed beach, and I can hear subtle hints of early ‘A Storm In Heaven’-era Verve penetrate through the noise waves. A stunning track.

‘Apex In September’ is a welcome calming reprise from the cacophony of sound presented within the previous track, as its atmospheric, glitchy samples and synth stabs make way for the sound of rushing water courtesy of ‘Stromness (Under Cold Skies)’. It’s post-rock tendencies are cut short with the arrival of its explosive, soaring chorus progressions. Coming in at six minutes and fifty six seconds, ‘Stromness’ is the longest track on the album but is stunningly beautiful. ‘Bird Of Prey’ arcs into the sonic ether and we’re treated to an intelligent, glittering ball of sonic luminosity that showcases the clever songwriting ability that this band have. Track ten, ‘Flow’, meanders on a wave of beautifully golden atmospheric sound waves that are full of circling, reverberating guitar progressions and soaring synth swells. ‘Glorious Failure’ is a modern-day shoegazing gem and probably my favourite track on this entire release with its walls of addictive guitars, repetitive drum sequences and stunning, crisp vocal lines. ‘Hinterlands’ is a beautiful piece of atmospherically ambient post-rock with electronic infusions, whilst ‘Halcyon To Your Peregrine’ is a different animal altogether with its driving, pulsating beats, droning synths and addictive guitar progressions. The album’s serine closing piece is entitled ‘All Hail The Sleepy Lunar Beasts’, and it does exactly as it says on the tin.

Impressive stuff!

5/5

LINKS:

bolywool.bandcamp.com

bolywool.com

facebook.com/Bolywool/

twitter.com/Bolywool

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.