Swiss duo Bölzer have enjoyed massive cult status for the past few years thanks mainly to their Soma and Aura EPs. To be honest, I never really saw what all of the fuss is about and felt they were one of the most overhyped bands out there. I am happy to report that for their debut full-length, Bölzer have lived up to the expectations of all of those who believed in them so fervently and that Hero utterly dispels all and any such scepticism on my part.

Bölzer have a sound that is truly unique. First of all they create a monolith of sound made up of trundling, rumbling mid-paced drum patterns and layers of crushingly heavv guitar. Idiosyncratic guitar lines overlay this to create an esoteric, otherworldly vibe and the weird chanted clean vocals that drift in at times aid in the creation of unorthodox but deeply effective and memorable moments where melody shines like rays of sunlight through the thunderous clouds that surround.

Stylistically, a large portion of Hero’s success is due to the fact that multiple traits of so many different genres have been blended together so skilfully. Elements of sludge, doom and black metal have all been forged together in a postmodern cauldron until they blend into a new alloy that is stronger than the individual constituents that compose it. Hero is deeply progressive without disappearing into the depths of its own posterior.

But Hero isn’t just about a new and interesting sound. The songs all deliver in spades too. With every track the listener experiences excitement and a delicious anticipation as they realise what is coming next and how great it is going to be. Hero is a phenomenal success on all levels and a strong contender for album of the year. Epic, awesome and definitely one to treasure.