Published Apr 14, 2015Differences in musical styles can be subtle, but those subtleties are often definitive enough for lines in the sand to be drawn. Bosse-De-Nage is in the business of drawing lines too, but to connect styles, not divide them.
All Fours is the band's fourth record, and by now their stylistic mix of black metal, shoegaze and a bit of emo is well-known, but this record is far from being an exercise in parading various sounds around to just put them on display. With the bend of a few guitar strings, black metal's caustic and distinctive tremolo picking shifts to the woozy, heart-in-stomach rush of shoegaze, as the band demonstrate on the aptly titled "A Subtle Change." Throughout All Fours, Bosse-De-Nage blur stylistic distinctions with ease, maximizing the emotional weight of their music by using those styles as signifiers for feelings. On "Washerwoman," spoken word and muted strums of guitar leave a breadcrumb trail back to Slint and forbears Moss Icon, sounding pensive and restrained while a nagging buzz grows in intensity. As the narrative in the song reveals boundaries beginning to dissolve, cymbal crashes launch the band into a double bass-fuelled black metal scourge, major chords ringing open like the sound of bells across a vast expanse.
It's not just how many styles Bosse-De-Nage wield, but how and when they go about doing it, that proves them to be equally great songwriters and musicians and makes All Fours such an artful, smart and rewarding record. (Profound Lore)