Sludge metal greats Bison -- or Bison B.C. -- are back with their first album in five years, the followup to 2012's Lovelessness. It's also their first for Pelagic and first with bassist Shane Clark, formerly of 3 Inches of Blood. These firsts give new life to Bison, which is exactly what guitarist/vocalist James Farwell says this album is about: "A story of a new life and escaping the city, while still being tethered to it." Bison make heavy, punishing music, but they really do sound alive and uplifting on You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient. There's a bit more a punk edge to this one than to Lovelessness. They sound faster, brighter, and more energized, and their dual-vocal shouts remain firmly rooted in hardcore -- "Anti War," for example, is closer to the latest Power Trip album than to the latest Baroness album. On "Kenopsia," they've got lead guitar that's nearly in Converge territory. Throughout the album, Bison aid their thick power chords with a handful of fiery classic-style guitar solos, and it's all captured with crisp-but-raw production courtesy of Jesse Gander (who's done several Bison releases, White Lung, Japandroids, and more). After an album of pure ferocity, they calm things down for the last song. It's a seven-minute, violin-fueled dose of Neurosis-style post-metal that really proves Bison are far from a one-trick pony on this LP.

Stream the album in full here:


This review was originally published in Five Notable Releases of the Week (7/7) on BrooklynVegan.

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