Rather than coming in all guns blazing, the opening track to BOVINE’s new album “The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire” creates a beautiful yet unnerving atmosphere, composed entirely through sustained drones and feedback. As the full force of BOVINE looms ever closer it becomes clear that this opener, “Barium”, isn’t just a melodic introduction; it’s the deep breath before the plunge.
“Ghost Chair” doesn’t fail to live up to the anticipation, delivering the goods immediately. This satisfying release is owed to a stampede of crushing riffs and rhythms, abrasive and soaring vocals and intense playing-style. But among the chaos is a peculiar voice – one that has probably never been heard in music before. It announces: “I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin…Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization”. Yes, even Winston Churchill now has his foot in metal’s door, and BOVINE manage to make him sound like a total badass too.
With track titles such as “The Battle Of The Sinkhole”, “Military Wife” and “Heroes Are What?”, BOVINE make their subject matter pretty clear. However, without these titles it would be hard to recognise this. Unfortunately, the majority of the lyrics get lost in their powerful delivery but the vocals are so well executed that it’s hard to care. From the heaviest of efforts to their most subtle, the vocals are certainly some of the best contributions to their musical formula.
Tracks such as “Not Another Name”, “The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire” and “I Will Make You Real” shine through as the best tracks on the album. This is largely due to their awesome guitar-work which is worth listening to in itself. Sounding like a crossbreed between Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age and Clutch, these riffs take on a form unique to BOVINE, and are a refreshing addition to a genre often over-diluted with generic breakdowns and simplistic down-tuned chugging.
The most intense parts of the album are spread sporadically throughout, making BOVINE’s war themed debut more of a cluster-bombing than one solid explosion. Acoustic tracks such as Aneugenic make the scale of impact for the heavier sections much greater, not to mention demonstrating BOVINE’s proficiency in song writing.
“The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire” creates quite an impression in just thirty-six minutes. There’s such an overload of material in only ten tracks making it hard to appreciate every little intricacy in just one play-through. However, from its high calibre to its refined guitar-work, these dense, elaborate and inspired tracks make for a conquering debut release, one that will certainly put BOVINE on the map as a new talent to look out for.