Diving head first into the album with a barrage of blast beats on “Process of Drowning,” then followed by “Invictus, Unconquered,” which features a series of devastatingly angular breakdowns, it’s sign on clear intent that Bermuda are certainly not an act that takes any prisoners. With a sound that combines the down-tuned chaos of Ion Dissonance and War From A Harlots Mouth with solid grooves and djent-bounciness, you could probably say that despite mashing up a handful of varied influences, Bermuda’s debut isn’t really a reinvention of the wheel by any stretch of the imagination.
However, it is packed full of low 8-string grooves and the band are at their best when they’re firing off spine-tingling breakdowns – sure, you’ve heard this stuff all before, but Bermuda’s knack of throwing out odd-timed and sparse chugs is impressive.
Lyrically the group are quite a change from the run-of-the-mill anti-God/murder/death shtick, with Corey Bennett’s impassioned tales of desolation and abandonment both a welcome breath of fresh air from the norm and very real sounding. “Sachael” is another heavy-hitting track, but it’s interrupted by a really unnecessary clean-vocal lead chorus. There’s nothing wrong with showing a bit of diversity by throwing in some actual singing, but it just sounds out of place here, and doesn’t really add anything to the number.
Around the middle of the album The Wandering begins to run out of legs, and the tunes start to sound a little samey – sans the instrumental piece “Lagrange Pointe” – but the record ends on a strong note with “Obstruction.” The closing track is an almost 9 minute long Meshuggah-esque haunting epic, featuring creepy, dissonant guitars weaving between passages of droning riffs and a myriad of roars and spoken vocals.
The Wandering isn’t an album that will set the world alight, and nor will it convert those who doubt the modern metal scene, but Bermuda’s debut record is still a solid release. The strongest card that the quintet has up their collective sleeves is that their music sounds genuine and full of true emotion – and with the ever-increasing amount of unoriginal bands going through the motions, Bermuda’s The Wandering deserves to be checked out for this fact alone.
(released May 8, 2012 on Mediaskare Records)