Bart M. : Bismarck is the new stoner band from Denmark. And trust me, they know how to fiddle those strings. This quintet from Bergen is actually considered to be a doom metal band and the moment I put on this album and the riffs started flooding in I could do nothing but agree with that moniker. It is classical riffs you're hearing; not in the sense that they have been used before, no, but in a sense that they are easily recognizable as such. Think of bands as St. Vitus and Electric Wizard. That being said though, and knowing there are various different interpretations of the doom genre, a certain level of melancholy is required to earn that title and Bismarck's debut album 'Urkraft' does not have that. This is mainly due to the very strong vocals, vocals that do not breathe any kind of despair or brokenness. On the contrary, these vocals, in a very powerful way, tell us tales about alchemy, divination and the end of the world, and they do so very convincingly. This lack of despair places 'Urkraft' in the stoner genre, and it is delicious.
Delicious, you say? Yes. I once told my friends that stoner music manages to beat a smile upon my face (even before any substance use) that expresses such a satisfaction and bliss that nothing else comes close. And that is exactly what this record does. To exemplify, let's take the song 'March Of The Wizards' by Thorr-Axe: these guys take an original riff, repeat it endlessly and build a musical set of armour around it. Bismarck does the same, with each of the five songs that comprise this album, but they add a number of pleasant surprises, including the Mammüth-ish vocals and quite a number of subtly post metal parts, that will make the songs touching in an emotional way as well.
This is heavy music that will, despite making you feel awesome, make you grimace and bang your head senseless while pretending that you play those riffs on an air guitar. Believe it or not, but this album is exactly what you need right now.