Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bookakee - Whorrific - Album Review

Year: 2013

A band’s name and how they look, is as important as how their music sounds. All first impressions are made from the name and the appearance of the band. So when I googled Bookakee, I got pictures of men in black paint, covered in what could only be described as Hulk semen. Plus, the name of the band itself is a tongue in cheek reference to a pornographic act. Usually, when bands go for such daring names and looks, their music usually is a joke. That is not the case of Bookakee fortunately.

Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada this is a band that is versatile in every aspect of their music. Bookakee released it’s debut full length at the end of 2013, titled ‘Whoriffic’ and the album is not something you would expect from a band that looks like a parody act.

The music starts out like a typical brutal death metal sound track with heavy guitars and deep gutturals. Everything that follows, is nothing but atypical. The guitar riffs of SP Gagnon and Mate Pare are incredibly unpredictable and they keep changing the style and tempo ever so often. It almost sounds chaotic, but it is apparent that this is a form of planned chaos. Progression is the name of the game and these guys sound like they’re the experts.

The versatility doesn’t stop with the guitars alone. Vocalist Philippe Langelier makes it sound like there are two vocalists in the band with his alternating gutturals and shrieks. The music has a way of keeping the listener entertained inspite of all the variations and changes that go on in every track. The drummer JP Bouchard has all the technical skills needed to adapt to such progressiveness and he shines well in the album. Same can be said about the bassist Jo David and there are quite a few moments where his bass takes the limelight.

Though there is a lot of progression in the music, the band manages to maintain a certain level of brutality in their death metal. In terms of the tracks themselves, the band has a sense of humour with titles like ‘A Night to Dismember’, ‘Return of the Loving Dead’, Perverted Monolith’ etc. There are a few instrumental tracks as well that are completely different from the rest of the songs. For example the track ‘DK’ is a cover of Donkey Kong Country and the track 'AA' is an acoustic guitar piece where it almost sounds like a Spanish flamenco style guitar. These tracks make the album more fun, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.

Production values are good, though at some points the bass could have been kept a little higher in the mix. The use of clean guitars in the middle of the tracks is perfectly timed and they add to the character of the songs themselves. Had I known about this band and album last year, this surely would have earned a place in my top albums of the year list. Pick up Bookakee’s ‘Whorrific’ as it is sure to leave you raping that repeat button.

Rating: 93% 

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