BISMUT ‘Retrocausality’ LP Review.


Words El Jefe.

So Dutch band Bismut were a completely new unit to me prior to this but a live stream of ‘Obscuramento’ piqued my interest. Long songs, no vocals, played by a power trio who seem to have locked horns in some kinda deranged psychic rehearsal room cage match. Last man playing wins the jackpot! A serious project to undertake, I’d say.

Retrocausality is, as you’d expect from the premise, a hefty, liquid soundscape. Each track is finely crafted, and the band themselves can play like absolute motherfuckers, and throw into the cauldron some red-hot effects wizardry, you got in ya hands one of the most interesting records of the year.

Musically, they made me think of Tool without the pretense, but with a distinct metal undercurrent to their sound. Without diving too deeply into each song, they divide their skills to beat the best outta the song, from thunderous war drums screaming impending doom, to a guitar style that sprays ripping lead line to eerie, jarring “vocal melodies”. All balanced to wring the best out of their resources. The pace moves in an almost classical (music) way, pulling up or roaring ahead to express the vibe. Heady material.

On the whole, Retrocausality is an interesting and uniquely eccentric LP. With all but one track being 13 minutes plus and with all of them being instrumentals, the sheer level of dedication, commitment and an almost masochistic desire to create a record like this is extreme. The result is pretty damned good too. Each song has a direction all of it’s own, and the individual instrumentation all combine to tell the tale, each part expressed in an aural enigma that simultaneously peels back layers only to have them fold back in to create some new puzzle.

And just to finish up, while I was listening to Retrocausality, I was creating a tale in my head, a dystopian, post-apocalyptic mountain romance that this album would be the perfect the soundtrack for.

Bismut Retrocausality is out 25 September 2020 through Lay Bare Recordings.
Pre-order now HERE.

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