Bare Bones – Rival Minds (2019)

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The Sydney based, Bare Bones, are only hours away from dropping their highly anticipated new album, Rival Minds.  Let’s check it out!

New Low opens up the album and it’s a statement and a half.  Frantically fast paced – in only a minute and a half, Bare Bones make their intentions completely clear, they are here to make us pay attention…

Hollow Point features a groovy riff to begin with, but once the vicious vocals come in, this track becomes a different beast.  The groove remains, but it’s buried beneath a layer of pure venom.  This is not punk rock, metal or hardcore, but instead, some kind of amalgamation of all three genres, and it’s awesome.

If you love a rumbling bass line, then Crawl the Night is the song for you.  The track reminds me of Reinventing the Steel era Pantera at times, yet in other instances, it’s something completely different.  Bare Bones are extremely good at taking their influences and crafting a sound that is all their own.

Gold Leaf is fuzzy and driven by epic drumming, while Axe to Grind has a bouncy feeling, again brought on by the excellent bass guitar work at play.  Drag Me Down Below, on the other hand, is a great big hard rock anthem, in every way, save for the guttural vocals that are used throughout.  That’s not a criticism at all, the band make the two sounds mesh together perfectly.

Gravebound serves as my favourite track.  There’s a very catchy hook to this one, and just as it ended, I was compelled to back track and hear it all over again.  Rival Minds has been a real treat to listen to so far.

Crooked Eye opens softly, with the volume increasing rapidly.  A staccato riff takes over, before the entire band charges forward with a barrage of sound (and more infectious bass guitar).  The chorus is a fist pumping sing along, that will surely please the crowds.

Second to last, we have Rust.  A relentless piece that is, once again, infectious and catchy, while remaining unapologetically heavy at the same time.

Capping off Rival Minds is the title track, and here we have the biggest melting pot of influences and styles of the entire album.  Taking elements of heavy metal, punk, hardcore, stoner rock and metalcore, and brilliantly converging them into one cohesive track – and a fucking great track at that – this might just be Bare Bones at their best.  Another highlight, and an inspired way to close the album.

Bare Bones are, as of this moment, my new favourite Aussie metal band.

8/10

Shayne McGowan.

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