Death Metal, Metal

Bather – Phantom Guilt (Recommendation)

Band: Bather
Album: Phantom Guilt
Genre: Death Metal / Alternative Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: 27th of November, 2020
Released via Self Released
Cover Artwork © Bather

When I was checking different tags on Bandcamp again, I came across a band that I would have rather put into a different genre than the one it was advertised for, due to their cover artwork. But since it was to be found under Death Metal, I dared a try and listened in. Already after one song it was clear to me why Bather can be attributed to this genre, because what the band performs with their latest EP Phantom Guild is mercilessly bludgeoning, which quickly struck me well, especially because of its various influences and a great production that could animate me to listen to the record directly several times in its entirety. The combo from Ohio moves far away from classic OSDM but feeds the listener with lots of exciting elements that you don’t hear every day in this genre.

The fact that the sound is quite something becomes clear after a short listen, because the instrumentation sounds extremely brutal and shows their skills without hesitation. Here you get to do with furious Death Metal of the modern kind, in which especially the varied guitar playing comes directly into focus. In addition to threatening distorted riffing, as it is usual for the genre, Bather provide much more to discover. Apart from the different, but always coordinated guitars, especially the repeatedly fed mechanical and metal-sounding melodies inspire, which are presented in different tempos and are striking and catchy in many places. Sometimes the whole thing drifts into dissonant features, without being overloaded or out of place. Thanks to sophisticated song structures with occasional breaks and some ” quieter” parts, the respective titles also do not run into triviality in any other way.

Especially the quiet parts give the record its flavor, because through concise basslines that are rounded off with clean but really gloomy vocals, the individual vein of the band comes extensively to the forefront. Through the introduction of these surprising vocals you get a good alternative to the otherwise strong interchanging vocals of growls and nagging, which sound more like the current “core” sound and for me directly bring an association with Slipknot into the game. In addition to the brilliant fast passages, where primarily the furious blast beats and the pronounced cymbal play are to be mentioned, these parts seem to conjure up disaster and give the music an even darker touch along the way. Especially the tempo changes are excellently led by the drums and let them weave seamlessly into each other, which can definitely be counted among the strengths of the songwriting. Thus, it does not really matter at what speed the Phantom Guilt EP is, because it always sounds sinister, evil and leaves boredom completely aside.

Bather have already self-released their EP on November 27, 2020, so far only in digital format and as a CD version. Remains to be seen whether someone takes this strong sound and satisfies us soon with a vinyl and / or tape variant. The great production and the intense sound experience would have more than deserved these formats in any case.

If you are looking for an alternative to dull Old School Death Metal and are not afraid of modern elements, you should definitely check out this band from Ohio. Thanks to the various influences, the Phantom Guilt EP can be listened to many times in a row, despite its only four songs, because there are always new sections to discover, which can surprise you and provide interesting input while listening. If the band releases an album soon and shows as exciting songwriting as here, then Bather will probably be able to draw much wider circles in the future and the level of popularity will increase rapidly.

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