To follow a record label is one thing, to be blown away by every release is another. Deathwish have a remarkable knack of bending their influence with genre pushing bands. And they continue hammering the nail on the head with Audio Noir. Bossk blend post rock instrumentals with guttural howls. Their instrumentals, while rather dazzling, sparkle through thick layers of sludgy distortion. “Heliopause” is one heavy droning beat after another. While the drums crash behind the pulsing, chunky guitars, the vocals are wretched. The mix of the vocals feels deep, really emphasizing how visceral and vicious it is to scream through the booming music. Right after the crushing four minutes, Bossk retreat to soft guitar and string croons on “Relancer.” The song picks back up with arpeggiated guitar notes, streamlining rather effectively right into the next song.
Audio Noir is as much a record as it is one extensive song chopped into small bits and pieces. Throughout each part of the puzzle are different attack styles, coming at the listener with both stunning meshes of peaceful sections or pulverizing dissonance. “Kobe” is a perfect example of this, collectively filling eight minutes or so with such contrast that it flows rather magnificently. It’s natural when the drums start rolling, the bass notes become more of a bellow and out of nowhere the mood has changed. The guitars have grown into big walls of distortion, the vocals come out of the corner with their jaws unhinged with their familiar whales. It’s unnerving, it’s riveting and most of all, it’s Bossk. It’s as if their own name is the unique styling of their sound.
“Atom Smasher” is a fit of grooves being tossed around with heavy riffs. The syncopation is magnificent, beating into a filth covered chug in the middle of the song before collapsing back into the bass heavy sludge. “Nadir” is the shortest offering on the record, being an eloquent instrumental with crying strings backing a gentle piano lead. “The Reverie II” is the closing track, a sister to the opener “The Reverie.” The second one has the heaviest drop once the song starts to take shape. As the finale approaches the guitars soar with glimmering licks over the bombastic drum patterns. It’s a fitting end to a stunning album, and this is their debut. (Sean Gonzalez)