Bone Tower – We All Will Die One Day EP


When asked what you did to stay busy during lockdown, you might say, “I learned a new skill” or “I took up a new hobby.” How many of us can say, “I formed a grindcore band with the objective of releasing an EP by the end of the year”? That is exactly what the three members of Bone Tower did when they put their minds together in Nova Scotia, Canada, in February this year. The sentiment that we’ll all die one day looms large in the Covid era, and Bone Tower capture this uneasy reckoning like soldiers abandoning the Geneva Convention. Let’s be honest: we’re all fucked, aren’t we?

Eight songs spread over nine minutes sounds like a standard grindcore outing and one you can sit through in no danger of falling victim to boredom. Yet Bone Tower are in no mood to tread old ground on We All Will Die One Day. Of course, they fly out of the traps like falcons let loose on a group of waterfowl in the first three tracks. ‘Dislodging Splinters’ is a violent concoction of screeching feedback and death metal tremolo riffs with manic vocal screams. If this doesn’t give you vertigo, ‘Am I Conscious’ and the excellent ‘Mangled Wounds’ will do the job. The former switches between frenzied aggression and a slower grind of circular riffing, while the latter matches the intensity of classic Pig Destroyer. How refreshing it is to hear a double-bass pedal scuttling away beneath the blast beats.

Yet this is where things go in a bizarre experimental direction. ‘Cower Away’ comprises thirty-eight seconds of Aphex Twin glitch beats and muffled vocal screams just when you’re adjusting your posture for a bludgeoning. You think ‘Empty Cave’ will deliver two minutes of unadulterated grindcore, but they end it with the strange interlude of a children’s choir after some of the heaviest palm-muted guitar crunches this side of Decapitated. They even find time to squeeze in an electronic noise composition like French duo, Justice, on the penultimate track before ending the EP with fifty seconds of gratuitous death metal. Perhaps the only thing you can criticise them for is not having the absurd ambition to stitch all nine tracks into one song. There’s no doubt they could execute this task with ruthless efficiency if needed.

Music as violent as this leaves the imagination blazing. In this reviewer’s mind, Bone Tower are the assailant who brings a flame-thrower to a knife fight. We All Will Die One Day is a scorched earth sonic assault that leaves you cowering behind your door as the new occupants take over the town. You have no choice but to surrender and press repeat.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 05/11/2021

Record Label: No Funeral Records / Fresh Outbreak Records

Standout tracks: Mangled Wounds, Empty Cave

Suggested Further Listening: Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works (2007), Razoreater – Purgatory EP (2021), Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb (2007)