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As the Lotus Eaters - 70%

putrevomitory, July 21st, 2019

By now, Booze Control covers have set a trope of their own. An omnipresent creature, from which all other activities in the art’s universe revolve. The one on this release, along with its title, took me back to a story called The Lotus Eaters. The premise is an unexplored planet that is rife with creatures whose description could as well match what is on display here, including one of the only two humans exploring the almost forgotten planet, in all its green-like glory.

Cruising back to the planet of Booze Control’s music, things have not changed an iota. Forgotten Lands has the same distinctive rhythm that permeated The Lizard Rider. Still delivering quality heavy metal like they only know how to. Attack of the Axemen is a kick on the door of malice. They depict a metal topic incessantly over a catchy instrumental, which promoted this release with a video. It truly is the strongest of the lot. They stick true to tradition, as with the previous release – only old school heavy metal vibes. Nothing about reinventing the wheel, as say, a progressive heavy metal band would tag along, in an effort to keep the gist of things amped up – without considering some of this may lead to distracted, or the dreaded boring music.

The album follows the same formula of chorus-verse, solo-sprayed songs, only this time the tracks sound heavier and the rhythms are groovier. The grooviest of them all, Slaying Mantis, lays claim to the creature on the album cover. It rather appears that the production played a hand at making the rhythms heavier, now that once the solos wail, it is in the same capacity as they did on the last album. Spellbound, is the song with the much glare of this effect, which even contributes to its already slow pace.

Of note is the characteristic sub-sections of sped-up rhythm, just to spice the songs, making the rhythm stick to memory much quickly. It is also funny to consider that four tracks in total appear to be tied to the sleeve art, title-wise. That is absolutely commendable for whoever executed the task. On every album, they also seem to be revolving around a certain hue. How that colours the music inside tips on the scale of vague to none, because blue or green tints don’t define upbeat. Only the excited and anticipating mood conveyed on them apply.

The drumroll that opens Spellbound sounds eerily similar to the one opening Temptress on the preceding album. Title-track, as well as Doom of Sargoth have head bobbing riffs that recall Grave Digger, while they still were a heavy metal band. Too, the harmonies present on this album are a tantalizing proportion of Grave Digger. Although a little less captivating in the vocal area than the previous release, this record is a little longer. The catchiness of the instrumentals also stack low in comparison to The Lizard Rider. The motives of Cydonian Sands are a bit questionable, because were it a doom song, it could have worked for that length. The acoustic acrobatics it presents were passed up for interludes.

Still waters won’t run deep here, for Forgotten Lands is not a quick grab at the listener as say their third album was. It rather is the culmination of what Booze Control ought to sound at the present time in their career. Their more energetic and catchy form is their most appealing side. The rhythms were not given as much thought as the ones on album three, which made it an all-round spectacle. The solos and few leads have held up. C’mon now, Booze Control, you can supersede yourselves.