Scott Middleton – Drums, Percussion
Jesse Van Note – Bass
Zeb Wright – Guitar, Vocals
Ray Worth – Guitar, Vocals
1. High Mountain Pass
2. American Hollow
3. Land of the Sky
4. Shake the Soot From Your Boots
5. A Man’s Worth
6. Endless Summer
The latest album from North Carolina’s Bask promises to walk a fine line between straight up metal, and hard rock. Something you hear quite hear a lot nowadays, to the point of it almost becoming a cliché. American Hollow however certainly lives up to those promises, and then some. Having only formed last year, the band have already found themselves a nice little niche of sound which blends monstrous and mellow in such a way, you can’t help but applaud the band for such a daring move.
Such feelings however aren’t realised at first. ‘High Mountain Pass’ is very monotone and does little to stir emotion, it’s like being promised Ben & Jerry’s, and being given supermarket own brand vanilla. Now don’t get me wrong, there are good parts, it’s just I thought the album believed its own hype a bit too much.
For track 2 onwards however, it’s a completely different story. A story with many plot twists, colourful characters and stunning backdrops. From ‘American Hollow’ onwards, you’re transported to a faraway place. The bands influence from the world of post-rock becomes ever present, the sound just seems to come alive. The difference is so vast, it’s like looking at a blank canvas, the all of a sudden, its awash with every colour imaginable its quite astonishing really. There may of been a few instances where yours truly had goosebumps, no joke.
Post-rock aside, Bask aren’t afraid to show their roots, and the album reeks of The Carolina’s. There’s an aspect with has that synonymous American sound, yet it’s executed in such a way, that its evolved into a new kind of monster, a much more heavier monster, yet it isn’t aggressive in any way what so ever, like if Cthulu was stroking a kitten.
American Hollow is an album rich in Americana, yet on the flipside, it’ll wet the palettes of the more progressively minded of you. It’s a record which will move you in a way you won’t think possible after hearing the first few minutes. The words intricate, deep, awe inspiring are words which I heavily attach to this, and I bet a fiver you will to.
For fans of: Russian Circles, Mastodon, Pelican