The almighty Beehoover’s music and I go way back. Well, time moves quite slowly for me, so even five years seems like an eternity…so, like I said, Beehoover and I go way back…. I first heard Beehoover’s Heavy Zoo album back when MySpace was all the rage and Facebook was still being used by and for what it was meant to be used by and for: college students and their communications, primarily, rather than posting advertisements, duck faced selfies, “liking” things, and whiling the hours away writing vague statuses and scrolling up and down the news feed…. The first song of Beehoover’s that I ever heard was “Dance Like A Volcano.” And one taste was all I needed to know that this band was my sort of band. Their originality screams from every facet of their songs: no one’s voice sounds quite like Ingmar’s, drum and bass metal bands are a rarity as far as I know, and the drums…oh God the drums! Heaviness pulses, pounds, and crashes from the speakers with each snare hit or cymbal crash. Together, the raging bass lines and the—at times—native and tribal drumming, create the sound I have come to know as Beehoover.
Moving on, the band’s latest release “The Devil and His Footmen,” published by the great Exile On Mainstream Records (check out more of the music they have produced/published if you get the chance, you won’t regret it) is no disappointment. Rather, The Devil and His Footmen is a huge leap forward in progression for the band. I’ve listened to the album countless times now and I’m still completely and wholly engaged by it every time I put it on, and every time I do, I listen to it through from opening note, to final crushing silence.
There’s something to be said about Beehoover’s complexity, given it comes also from a place of simplicity; I defy you to find another 2-piece that can construct as complex, yet not overly long songs (which too many bands tend to do these days…in my opinion, a song doesn’t need to be 14 minutes in length) as found on The Devil and His Footmen, from the slow, plodding, yet heavy inaugural track, to the burning and raging second, appropriately titled “Egoknights and Firearks.” I’m not quite sure what an Egoknight or a Fireark is, but these words convey quite the epic imagery, indeed!
Speaking of epic, I actually prodded Ingmar with questions at one point while listening as to whether or not this album was meant to be a concept album. He said it was not their intentions to write in concept, but as I listened, I couldn’t help but get that vibe from the record. Perhaps it’s due to the all-around completeness that this album generates? One moment, one note, one riff leads to the next as naturally as one song leads to the next song…and so on. In the end, their new album comes off sounding familiar, yet very different from their previous offerings. There is heaviness throughout, but they allow for some soft moments too in which to catch your breath and take in the soundscapes they are capable of generating. There are short interludes which aid in more graceful song transitions than previous albums, and the intro of the final track on The Devil and His Footmen is a perfect example of this; I’m not sure if they used synth or some other electronic device, or were just making weird sounds with the bass guitar and pedal effects…I have no idea. All I know is that what they’ve created is a mesmerizing and mind-bending and, dare I say it, religious experience.
Before this album, all I could think about was: When’s the next Tool album coming out? But after hearing Beehoover’s new album, my agonized mind was put at ease, at least for a while, because this album is every bit as artistic and satisfying as a new Tool album. Sometimes a band comes along and creates music that revitalizes the mind, body, and spirit, and serves as a reminder to us that truly great musicians still yet exist. I once wrote a simple review for Beehoover’s new album and it went a little something like this:
Beehoover’s new album is like a giant tusked slug slapping the earth with its gloriously sludgy tail, causing violent sonic vibrations to rattle through the earth, cracking it to its core, laying blissful waste to all places and things.
It’s a simple enough review and would do the job well on its own, I think.
Scribed by: Sean Filkins