Occultism meets metal meets punk
Fans already know not to expect anything fruity from Raspberry Bulbs. The band that formed in 2012 is known for its dark punk-metal fusion. With their newest album, Before the Age of Mirrors, the band proves once more how great they can blend occultism with punk and punk with metal; the band themselves describe their album as “parts paranoia, anger, and insane humor to satisfy the most cynical mind.” The sound reminds of early recordings of Venom, and it almost feels like this album is going to be the soundtrack of dark rituals in the woods; this atmosphere can be contributive to the four instrumental “Interludes” on the album.
Darkness awaits with the first track, “Spitting from on High.” Smashing dark guitars lead the way into the unknown. Once the listener is confronted with the lyrics, the spell is complete. It is hypnotizing in a way it fills people’s thoughts and feelings. The metal sound and the repeating of the chords are like dark magic. The next track“They’re After Me” shows more of the punk influences Raspberry Bulb has. The paranoia the band mentions seems to be channeled in this song. The gloomy vibe only intensifies with the first pure instrumental track “Interlude I.” If one ever thought of witches dancing in the woods, they would probably do it to these instrumentals. The interlude leads the listener further down the rabbit hole.
“Missing Teeth” has a raw sound and feel. The song sounds like a downward spiral, destination: madness. Just like the rest of the album, the vocals are distorted and are not really in the foreground. But still, every once in a while listeners understand them, and it just gives people another kick in the consciousness. “Doggerel” has a little more punk elements to it. The guitars are fast, and the beat is unstoppable. The word doggerel is pretty uncommon, but after a quick google search, everyone will notice that the title perfectly matches the song. Doggerel is a “loosely styled and irregular in measure, especially for burlesque or comic effect.” It’s always great when music teaches people to expand their vocabulary. Another Interlude (“Interlude II”) follows. With “Midnight Line,” the album gets back to some metal tones.
The next track, “Reclaimed Church,” takes on just that, the church, but especially the new churches. The ones that claim that religion can be fun and modern. The end of the song is haunting, the vocals that fade slowly into “Interlude III” could come straight from a possession horror flick. A hard-hitting message with matching riffs await with “Ultra Vires;” people behave like animals, nothing has real meaning. The last Interlude, “Interlude IV,” prepares the way for the final track, “Given Over To History.”
Before the Age of Mirrors is casting a spell and it will enchant people in from the first second until the very last. Raspberry Bulbs hold the mirror for one to explore the void of modern life, but just be prepared, for people will see something dark starring back at them.