1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion – Bind Review

Solo projects are somewhat fascinating to me. They offer a fresh perspective into what makes an artist tick yet, for whatever reason, are seldom ever as good as the musician’s root project. The obvious takeaway here is that a band is only as good as the sum of its parts, and isolating one of those parts is bound to result in a lesser product. What makes 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion an interesting case, then, is that the founder is already the primary compositional voice behind his greatest claim to fame. We are already acquainted with Peter Hraur’s vision; we have Lör. So what new wonders, then, can 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion offer? The answer, friends, is riffs. Perhaps not a thousand bones’ worth of them, but they are plentiful, weird, and wonderful all the same.

1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion is smaller and less focused in its scope than Lör, and in fact feels borderline experimental. Bind can be comfortably described as a melodic, avant-garde form of blackened thrash; think Vhöl meets Devin Townsend, but with its own unique set of quirks. “Aporia” incorporates a passage I can only describe as being “ska-adjacent,” while the pillaric riff of “Pillars” exudes blues rock warmth. Unearthing these eccentric little nuggets is half the joy of the Bind experience, while the other half stems from the sheer propulsive force of its riffs and rhythms. A handful of mid-paced tracks barely manage to drop the album’s average speed below breakneck, with “Continue” and “Glitch” feeling particularly manic thanks to a combination of speed and unhinged clean vocals. While easily accessible, it’s these off-kilter brush strokes that paint Bind as a distinctly artistic project.

“But Eldritch, is there anything here for the Lör fans!?” You bet your ass. Several moments on Bind recall the joyous grandiosity of Hraur’s main project. Chief among these is “Dream of Floating,” boasting hyper-melodic riffs that could comfortably exist on a Lör record with minor tweaks. Similarly uplifting moments litter Bind without detracting from its aggressive nature; in truth, they enhance 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion‘s eclectic identity. My chief criticism of Bind, then, comes not from any assumed identity crisis, but rather underwhelming songwriting. Part of what makes Lör so brilliant is its perfectly condensed epics. 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion, by contrast, often feels like a jumbled collection of ideas. Frequently incredible ideas, sure, but not ones which are always arranged in compelling compositions. Closer “Untether” is a notable exception in that it reprises a handful of Bind‘s best themes in a glorious climax, but otherwise this is a record defined, for better or worse, by its impulses.

Still, Bind is a record barren of bad ideas, even if they aren’t always expertly arranged. Peter Hraur’s excellent riffs ‘n’ solos remain ever exhilarating, exuding a sense of controlled recklessness that extreme metal too often eschews in the name of synthetic professionalism. Lör drummer Greg Bogart assumes kit duties on this project as Hraur’s sole co-member, with his firm handle on Lör‘s emotional diversity translating well into 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion‘s stylistic variety. Unfortunately, Lör‘s solid yet amateurish production values have also carried over to this project. Hraur once again handles all aspects of production, and while his work as DIY producer is impressive, his gravitation to messy tones, vocal reverb overkill, and flat mixing has at this point lost its charm. He and his bandmates are insanely talented, and they deserve a more professional production job to fully sell the quality of the writing and performances.

Production aside, Bind’s quality speaks for itself. This is a wildly entertaining and distinct slab of off-kilter blackened thrash, and the kind of accessible experimentation that we don’t hear nearly often enough. Both power metal and extreme metal fans should find a lot to like here, and Bind is more than good enough that I hope Peter Hraur returns to 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion in the near future to further refine his vision. After the next Lör record is out, of course.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: n/a | Format Reviewed: 1601 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Release
Websites: 1000bonecylinderexplosion.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/1000bonecylinderexplosion
Releases Worldwide: October 1st, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. Really, guys?
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