Bury the Machines – Wicked Covenant

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Midnite Collective
Distributor/label URL: https://www.facebook.com/pg/midniteclv/about/
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: https://burythemachines.bandcamp.com/album/wicked-covenant
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/burythemachines/


Band Line-up:

John E Bomher, Jr. – Obscenities, guitar, bass, synth and vox
Mark Serpico, Jr. – Drums


1. Beneath my Wrath
2. A Victim’s Tears
3. Waterweapon



Stoner rock band, Bury the Machines have just released the ‘Wicked Covenant’ EP, a work that follows their 2016 LP, ‘Barbwalker’. WC consists of three new songs performed by multi-instrumentalist, John E. Bomher, Jr; a man you may know from I Klaus, and Yakuza. (The bands, that is).
You may have seen him on tour with Thrill Jockey and Glaare, in fact. His latest effort has been spread through cassette, CD and digital formats through the label ‘Midnite Collective’.

Despite all the tension that builds in Bomher’s epic dirge turned freak-outs, the drama is not overdone and tiresome. The climaxes are well placed and last the right amount of time. Unlike some similar doomy bands, there is more to the riffs than ominous chord progressions. However, you are often made to wait for the classic metal loops. This delayed gratification makes even relatively basic patterns, in a way, idealised. With BtM, less is more, and that should be celebrated. Not everyone is capable of making such simplicity fresh. The musicianship isn’t overly flashy either, but it is effective in inducing a distinctive, mysterious and morbid atmosphere. Sometimes deranged, bluesy hooks get thrown in, too, adding to the strangeness.

It’s not all blackness, however, ‘Waterweapon’ begins with a chilled out vibe that brings to mind Black Sabbath’s ‘Planet Caravan’. Once the vocalist starts singing, he contributes his haunting quality, that runs through the record. The way he sometimes holds onto the same, bleak notes can be strikingly disconcerting and filled with character. He may not be the most accomplished singer in the world, but his execution is perfect for the job, not just in this song. Once ‘Waterweapon’ escalates to a violent depression, Bomher screams like a lunatic showing his vocal range, albeit in a crude way.

In conclusion, whilst there is a lot to respect here, BtM’s material isn’t the most adventurous. ‘But not all music has to be groundbreaking’. You are right; some artists are all about the atmosphere. However, if that’s your thing there are better artists to check out if you haven’t already. Drudkh and Burzum are the masters of creating a certain feeling. Neither of them are stoner, but if you like repetitive, droning music, they are probably the number one acts for you. Unless you want to hear more diabolical blues, that is. I recommend BtM mainly to hardened fans of the genres, collectors and the curious.

Review by Simon the Mighty