Bacchus bring altered states to spiraling cosmic black metal on universally potent adventure ‘II’

People on this earth often wonder if there is intelligent life beyond this planet, a question that reeks of self-importance like in the entire vast universe that this planet would be the only one. Pure silliness. This suddenly has become a pro-alien, metal, and sometimes wrestling site. Of course there are beings elsewhere. We may even have some in our midst.

Black metal dreamers Bacchus claim to be from France, but you know who else did? The Coneheads. If we were to find out the three beings that comprise this band—guitarist/bassist/vocalist Sébastien B, composer/sampler/synth player Moïse Mestriaux, drummer Camille Olivier F.B.—were not from this planet, no one really could be surprised. On their debut full-length effort “II,” the trio uses mind-altering substances and the subsequent mental state to take the listener on a journey into the vastness of space, shaking you to your core. In fact, it’s a great record to listen while also of altered mind, helping stretch your imagination and the possibilities within you to ridiculous lengths. Or you could just indulge in music that may or may not have been made by beings who live elsewhere.  

“II.I” starts with synth unfurling like a strange flag, and then the melodies begin to cut spirals into the cosmos, rushing and spilling into a flood. Melodic pockets push as wordless calls ring in your ears, the pace fires up, and everything fluids pours into a vortex. “II.II” dawns with strange keys and growls engorging, tearing a hole in time. The guitars surge as clean calls beckon, jolting with energy and creating waves of electricity. Wild howls reverberate, the guitars get tornadic, and hearty playing splits your psyche in two. “II.III” feels like it freezes your cells, bringing bizarre twists and detached calls, drilling its way into your midsection. Storming and disorienting, the universe feels like it drags itself over you, cooling your energies and slipping into the night.

“II.IV” washes over you, the stirring melodies combining with devastating cries, the harsh and blistering winds making your face chap. The playing slips into hypnosis, clean singing has its way, and the stimulating pace ends in a calming breeze. “II.V” is the longest track, running 8:12 and delivering an atmospheric charge. The playing turns toward madness as wordless calls penetrate, then growls lace, being joined by dreamy keys that let your guard down. The aura gets more immersive, the playing pounds as growls become a sinister factor, and spacey fire melts into the sky, ending in mesmerizing gaze. Closer “II.VI” brings lush keys and an atmosphere that fills your heart and lungs. Growls lurch as the playing turns fantastical, melodic waves crashing and eating away at the shore, clean calls giving one final lather as everything dissolves into mystery.

Bacchus’ music is less for releasing aggression and more for stargazing, preferably in an altered state of mind as you watch the sky. “II” is impressive and alluring, a record that might take a few visits to truly set in, but once it does, it leaves you tingling and trying to find your bearings. This is a massive adventure that’s sized right and challenges your mind to imagine bigger things from heavy music.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album (U.S.), go here:

Or here (Europe):

For more on the label, go here:

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