Bear Mace - Butchering the Colossus - (7/10)
Published on July 2, 2017
Any band that lists war, death, and bears as their lyrical themes deserves more than a casual glance, in my opinion. Chicago’s Bear Mace is one such band and their debut album, Butchering the Colossus, was released in March of 2017 through the band’s Bandcamp page. Boasting some truly wild cover art of a bear about to devour a city, it was just the push over the edge that I needed to look further into this band. As it turns out, the band’s slightly crusty approach to death metal is really cool.
Not too dissimilar from bands such as Bolt Thrower and Hail of Bullets, Bear Mace plays rhythmically charged death metal that will peel paint off the walls and gag your neighbors like a CS canister through the window. Butchering the Colossus is a pretty cool album with a thick guitar tone, thunderous bass presence, and militant percussion. The riffs are charging, alterating between staccato power chords and rumbling, steamrolling riffing. Some extremely catchy grooves creep up, like the main riff of “Wheel of Despair”, and solid lead licks and solos adorn several songs, yet, for the most part, Butchering the Colossus is bent on destroying everything in its path.
For all its bluster, and it does pack quite a punch, some movements seem to blur together without leaving a lasting impression. That being said, there are crunchy riffs and punishing rhythms that will stick in your head, like thundering opening track or the galloping riffs during the title track. The vocals also deserve some praise, as they lean towards a deeper growl that almost bubbles and gurgles at times (as one friend put it Demilich-lite). When Bear Mace is on top of their game, it’s fantastic, and it’s quite impressive this is the band’s first full length offering. That being said, there is definitely room for these guys to improve and release one hell of a pummeling album.