Age Of Retrogression

Bohemian Grove

When this CD comes in your hand your eyes will be staring for a few […]
By Yiannis Doukas
November 4, 2008
Bohemian Grove - Age Of Retrogression album cover

When this CD comes in your hand your eyes will be staring for a few moments the cover. I don't know, the eating his tail snake, the owl, the colors, the whole mood, this thing excretes evil and dark thoughts inside your mind. But it's not only that, inside there is a piece of sickness, something like a goat sucking the energy of woman or like that, unholy shit, great drawing. Of course a good artwork cannot guarantee anything for the inside music but - first - I am getting bored with all the plastic computer pussy shit that most of the bands uses today and - second - it shows a passion and a good hobby - horse behind the group.
BOHEMIAN GROVE is a band from the city of Patras in Greece that started their journey into the misty realms of Black Metal in 2006. This album, entitled Age Of Retrogression, is their debut recording containing five tracks reaching a more than 40-minute time of very good music. A style majorly influenced by the classics, DARKTHRONE, a little of MAYHEM, many references to albums like River At Dash Scalding and Discipline Manifesto of NAER MATARON embodied with the melancholy or epic touch of MGLA, the grimness of GORGOROTH and CARPATHIAN FOREST plus the psychotic, anti-formal, lifeless and poisonous riffing of Vicotnik's bands. Generally you will find a lot of stuff here, clear depiction that the band's members are full into the music they are playing.
The opening track, Wretched Men begins with a 'nailing you on the floor' riff, straight from the coldest mountains of Norway and you'll notice easily the good work that has been done in the structure, that goes for all their songs, enclosing many changes that will raise your interest. Great vokill, sometimes I think the vocalist spits blood from his lung and throat in the studio floor. I don't think that fits a lot a riff somewhere in the fourth minute but after it comes a nice melodic part with some clean voice that creates and gives an epic aura in the whole atmosphere. The closing is with the beginning riffing that I repeat is killer.
The second track, with the 'totality' title Praise The Goat is fucking perfect and probably this one with the first are the best in this album, at least in my opinion. A holocaust, a maelstrom of blades in the start and - after an exhausting part total necro a la present time of DARKTHRONE or CARPATHIAN FOREST - will follow an addictive riff in the refrain. Praise the Goat. After the sixth minute it reminds me a lot of NECROMANTIA, the solo is adequately good, fitting well and once again the vocals are perfect.
Upon A Human Grave starts slowly with a doomy part, transforming into abyssal exploding after and once again reflects a lot of inspiration inside. Many good riffs, they could have done two songs with that, and same with the self-titled that has a serial guitar assault. Much impressive was also the last, almost 12-minute opus, enriched with the phantom of Vicotnik inside, with a lot of stuff being close to the epic style of AGATUS and in the end you will meet an astonishing idea, that creates images of Ragnarok and apocalypse like you are experiencing  a psychedelic vision. The drumming in this song is nice; probably the most creative in the whole recording and generally this effort shows a band that has many ideas, that is not afraid of exploring and reaching the limits of their musical faculty creating a pinguid ground for any future releases.
I liked a lot Age Of Retrogression and when I'm thinking that this is their debut my expectancy raises. The whole production is good for the sounds they playing, maybe the blast parts could had a more physical touch although they are not bad and sometimes their ideas have not a proper sequence in some of their sonic parades. I'll be a tight knot in my rating 'cause I'm sure that in the future they have the scope for improvement but I cannot deny that this is one of the best recordings for this year in the Hellenic underground and is highly recommended.

7 / 10


"Age Of Retrogression" Track-listing:

Wretched Men
Praise The Goat
Upon A Human Grave
Age Of Retrogression
Drowning In The Roar Of A Sinking World

Bohemian Grove Lineup:

Chris - Vocals
Seraphim - Guitars
Marius V. - Bass
Thanos - Drums

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