After keeping us waiting 8 years for their debut, ‘Hero’, it would appear Swiss duo, Bölzer, are in no hurry to provide a follow-up, opting instead for yet another EP with ‘Lese Majesty’. Having toured extensively, the majority of Bölzer’s fan base is built solely on the merit of their live performances – an act that can be difficult to match on record. Understandably there has been some controversy when it comes to what the band put out on record, most notably with ‘Hero’ – considerably more upbeat and melodic with clean vocals dominant throughout. A huge change in direction when considering the murky barbarism of EPs ‘Aura’ and ‘Soma’. Understandably, fans were divided and the direction which Bölzer would take following this is something that has been pondered ever since.
Fast forward three years and HzR and KzR are back with the answer, and it falls somewhere directly in the middle. While ‘Lese Majesty’ isn’t a sudden return to Bölzer’s roots, it does hearken back to the more primitive heaviness of their formative years while still playing up to the theatricals they unleashed with ‘Hero’. It’s pretty standard blackened death metal with lots of reverb, it’s not reinventing the wheel, however, it will definitely be well received live as it is absolutely enormous sounding in all the right places.
While this is by no means a bad release, it’s definitive proof that Bölzer certainly aren’t at a point where they’re ready to release another album – what’s on display on ‘Lese Majesty’ isn’t developed enough, their sound needs further progression, although this EP is a step in the right direction and an enjoyable listen nonetheless. It’s an indication that this pairing are unsure of what direction they’re taking, but are sharing the music journey taken to get there, regardless of its reception.
(7/10 Angela Davey)