[27 August 2009]
Like its Rune Grammofon labelmates the Scorch Trio, the members of Norwegian outfit Bushman’s Revenge combine the speed and heaviness of metal with the freedom and expressive techniques of jazz and improvised music. However, that’‘s about as far as the comparisons go. It’s immediately obvious from the Sabbath lope and grind of Count the Holes In Your Head, the opening track to the group’s second album, You Lost Me at Hello, that Bushman’s Revenge falls far more squarely on the metal side of that particular equation. Nothing at all wrong with that, mind you, except when the trio crosses over to the other side and attempts some straight-up improv—bassist Rune Nergaard and drummer Gard Nilssen don’t have quite the jazz pedigree that its fellow countrymen Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love bring to the Scorch Trio—and the limitations occasionally bubble up to the surface. But Even Helte Hermansen (a.k.a. the guy with the metal background) is a badass guitarist no matter which direction the music goes, infusing nearly every track on the album with a rare combination of passion and technical proficiency. You Lost Me at Hello is definitely not for the weak of heart, but open-minded fans of guitar music will find a lot to admire within its encoded bytes.