For me, music has always been about discovery. The thrill of finding a band or record that nobody knows about or even just finding something ace, is what makes it so addictive. None more so than in the ever expanding genre of metal. However, with so much music around nowadays you sometimes miss out on gems. Book of Job are one such gem. I discovered these guys when I went to the Harrogate Fringe Festival "North Yorkshire Hardcore" all-dayer", that was held in my hometown of Harrogate in the summer. It was a day spread over near enough 12 hours, featuring both local bands and bands from further afield. Book of Job were one of those bands and they blew me away with there groove and unique sound.
Book of Job are a four-piece from Leeds, who signed to Italian label WormHoleDeath a while ago and are due to release their new album - Hamartia, on the 10th of December. I've been allowed to bring you guys a review of the record before it's officially unleashed. Read on!
2. 3 Hours
3. Of Libra and Scorpio
4. Pursuing The Cosmos
5. Lost In Utopia
6. Thought of A King
7. Father Cult
8. Madness is Murder
9. Feeding The Universe
Hamartia starts with the title track and an instrumental intro that leads into some awesome, tech-inspired metal. When the screams of vocalist Kaya Tarsus and the off-kilter guitar of Mike Liburd kick in, it's the groove of the band that hits you. This follows straight into 3 Hours. There's a decidedly retro feel to Hamartia and when I say retro, I mean when metal was techy and existed in the days before the fashion tag "djent" ever existed. I mean, when bands like Fear Factory ruled the airwaves. BoJ's sound is pretty all encompassing too, with plenty of elements going on to keep you happy.
There's the drums, which play at pretty furious pace, the bass, which emits a low-end rumble that fits the music well. The guitar switched between dissonant, ADHD style riffs and fuzzed out, syncopated leads and of course, those vocals, which are filled with plenty of emotion. Of Libra and Scorpio sounds more abrasive than the songs before it, with a volume that takes things up a notch when all the instruments are playing in harmony.
BoJ like to keep the atmosphere going throughout Hamartia, with introspective intros containing clean guitar, mixed up with feedback ridden moments. It's really cool to hear a local band playing this type of metal and bring something new to the current scene, that's been pretty much rinsed by our US cousins. It's extreme but it's also approachable, which shows that BoJ have an ear for writing good songs that will appeal to a wide range of metal fans, once it's released. The production is also pretty top notch, allowing all the parts to be heard clearly but not allowing the record to sound too over-produced. There's plenty going on in each song, but BoJ don't get carried away with overly long songs, which will no doubt hold your attention, even if you forgot to take your Ritalin!
The drumming in the opening bars of Lost In Utopia is head smashing! The pace is relentless and you can't help but bang your head furiously, if you can keep time!
The way the rhythms bounce and the time signatures switch makes it hard to keep up at times, but then who wants music that's predictable. There's also some subtle hardcore influenced mixed into the melee, which add a harder edge to the music sometimes, but doesn't detract from the overall effect on the record.
As you are dragged into the second half of the record, you’re greeted with some nice, chunky riffs at the start of Thoughts of A king, which again shows a different side to BoJ. They bring more clean vocals into their sound too. The modern touches littered throughout the record, highlight their skill and musicianship. Father Cult features some ace drum fills, which complement the changing time signatures. They don't settle into a calming groove, preferring to confuse and amaze at the drop of a hat. Don't get me wrong though, this ain't mathcore but it definitely ain't formulaic.
BoJ have recently got coverage from Kerrang!. which is no more than they deserve and just accentuates the current bigging-up of homegrown talent that seems to be prevailing in UK music publications. About time too!
When you get to Madness is Murder, you've been well and truly sucked in and the clean, melodic opening riffs of Feeding The Universe hint at great things to come. Those great things come in the form of a brooding, atmospheric song, which is definitely one of Hamartia's standouts. The final blow comes from Anagnorisis and it's the amalgamation of the band's writing and textures, which fills out the album's final beating minutes. It's a euphoric end to an album filled with exciting twists and turns.
Hamartia isn't streaming anywhere apart from on iTunes, but Book of Job have put an album teaser up on Youtube, which you can watch below:-
Visit WormHoleDeath at http://www.wormholedeath.com/home/ for more news on the album release and Book of Job, as well as Book of Job's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BOOKOFJOBUK for tour news as it's announced.