(New Album Review) [ B O L T ]- ( 3 )

[ B O L T ], a duo from Bochum, Germany, take a novel approach towards creating heavy, funereal, guitar-based drones– two bass guitars and an array of effects pedals are the tools driving their minimal, deeply-resonant voice, though field recordings will often add to the ambience and collaborations with friends are frequent. March’s ( 3 ) is as great a starting point as any at which to immerse oneself in this notably original outfit’s sonic world.

These soundscapes have a numbing, chilly embrace– though the guys can employ some fairly thick distortion in their sound, unlike many of their contemporaries in drone-metal and elsewhere, they hold back on the noise. [ B O L T ] are certainly in tune with the mystic vibration tapped by psych-drone entities like Aidan Baker, but they generally bypass the routes by which absolute saturation gets you there. On a track like the ethereal, slow-building “[ 2 6 ]”, the death-knell riff hugs the shadows, with the sonic space hovering at the brink of silence, so that when the crescendo finally arrives, every note comes crashing down like a tidal wave of pure lightning. In the face of this highly sensitive and expressive praxis, one is reminded of the meditative atmospheres of a guitar-centered release like Mathias Grassow and John Haughm’s Mosaic. [ B O L T ] make power ambient that can hold its own with the most beautiful stuff by the masters– we’ll keep our eyes trained on them from now on…


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