Bucephale’ was the horse of Alexander the Great, one of the most famous horses of classical antiquity. The Swiss metal band ‘Nostromo’ chose a pretty grandiose name for their newest album. Since the album has been selected to be the Album of the Month, you can already guess the thoughts about the name. Yes, it suits the album well in many ways!
‘Nostromo’ has been releasing music already for years, but I would say that their sound has grown much bigger and more varied with the EP ‘Narrenschiff’ released in 2019. Until then, the band’s sound was pretty raw, not so produced, and well thought out. ‘Narrenschiff’ took a slight turn to a more technical way of making the heavy and fast sound of the band.
The EP feels like an intro for ‘Bucephale’. The band has taken even more varied sounds and arrangements with the new album. Genre-wise the album combines short bursts of grindcore, the darkness of black metal, and the angst from hardcore, trash and traditional metal. There are also traces of post-metal and doom with tracks like ‘κατάϐασις’ and ‘Asato Ma’.
The album starts with a short ten-second noisy part with an immediate industrial vibe. But soon, it’s clear that the album is somewhat more organic metal than anything about machines. The opener is one of the strongest tracks punching the air out from the listener with the badass riffs and a certain claustrophobic feeling.
The vocalist ‘Javier Varela’ shows straight from the beginning that he is not asking for anyone’s permission and not being sorry for anything. He is just super raw and powerful. At times, throughout the album, he reminds me of one of the greatest vocalists in hardcore music, ‘Johan Lindqvist’ from ‘Nine’.
It’s impressive how groovy the album sounds, even though it’s heavy and fast most of the time. A couple of the following songs after the opener, ‘Ship of Fools’, is full of incredible riffs and makes you want to mosh all the time. The tracks have multiple parts, but they all flow without any problems. The transitions have been thought out carefully, not losing the groove.
‘A Sun Rising West’ is definitely one of the highlights of the album with the evil start. The whole track feels like giving a middle finger to everyone, not giving an f4(k for anything.
The album is not just about the groove, but it’s also filled with many technical and unpredictable parts which remind a bit of band like ‘Gojira’ or ‘Rivers of Nihil’. ‘Nostromo’ has succeeded with many things with ‘Bucephale’. It’s an interesting album combining old and new metal together, being heavy and brutal but still inviting the listener to repeat the album multiple times, not getting tired of it.
Nostromo: Bucephale Album
Released, October 28th, 2022
Album of the Month by Cuberat