I heard about this band and album from one of Trever Strnad’s posts over at Metal Injection about albums he is liking, it’s always a good read and full of bands I already know and some I don’t. Bullcreek was one I didn’t know, so I checked it out. Named after a haunted Dutch lake (named Osschaert- the CD booklet actually has a really nice explanation of the lore), the band consists of veterans from Gotmor, Mindlink, Mordancy and more importantly two former members of Burial, who released somewhat of an Dutch underground classic in 1993 with Relinquished Souls.
So what we have where is a standard, simple, Dutch/Belgian/Danish death metal sound in chunky, mid paced riffs and a rumbling rhythm section and deep, powerful vocals. You can hear some Gorefest, some Illdisposed, some Hypocrisy, some Asphyx and others, but Bullcreek are a little different in that they add a somber, almost doom gloss to the big, beefy and surprisingly melodic sound.
The 7 concept based songs about the aforementioned lake songs are pretty long ranging from 5 and a half to 9 minutes, adding to the doomier vibe and other than a couple of exceptions, there is nary a blast beat in sight. Opener “The Woods of Wiesel” sets the mood right away starts with an acoustic opener and big, moody lope and one of the albums few blast beats, though short lived. The third track, “Bullhead” (the titular ghost), also does a really good job of mixing big burly rumbles with a more somber, doomy vibe. The title track delivers a groove laden, dare I say catchy number, that borders of Stoner -ish riffs mixed with Bolt Thrower. “Deliverance” has sort of Finnish , crunchy mope amid it’s melodic trot, but ends with a authoritative ending chug.
My favorite track though, has to be nine minute closer, “The Monastery” that starts with a nice melodic, crunchy riff before a gloomy My Dying Bride like bridge and finally a killer, haunting female vocal part about 6 minutes in I was not expecting at all. It’s a great enhancement to a great track that captures the albums concept perfectly, and ends the album with a real purpose and closure.
I’ll definitely be keeping a eye on this band as well as the new Raw Skull Recordz label, as they look to be developing a nice roster of Old School Death metal bands that are right up my alley.[Visit the band's website]