"God's Hooks"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Biipiigwan is a mystery to me. I have no history on them, do not know who the members are and I don't even know how to pronounce the name. Should the double i's be pronounced long or short? Or should they have an "ee" sound? What the hell is a Biipiigwan anyway?

Short answer is: a band that kicks ass. On the surface, this is the same kind of sludgecore that that we've been inundated with the last couple of years...influences from Eyehategod, Weedeater, Electric Wizard, you know the drill. But listen a little closer, and you'll see there's more going on than just typical sludgemongery. "Beaches" opens the album with a sick roar and an avalanche of downtuned destruction, but soon Middle Eastern hooks appear and the tune shows signs of post-rock ambience...all while maintaining that aggressive, sticky-tar approach. "Vegemite" is much the same...opening with a blast, morphing into something hookier and more complex. Yeah, a lot going on with Biipiigwan. "In War" plods away with dour heaviness, but on top of that is some shimmering, expressive guitar work. The title track is almost like Meshuggah seen through a sludge lens, kicking in with amazing math-like riffing and mountain-crushing chug. "Crimson Sword" is more melodic and mournful but still heavy, while "Rhett" conjures up images of early 90's noise rock. The brief 26 minute album ends with another raging sludge bath called "B'il Sabab". The biggest disappointment here is that there wasn't another 10 minutes of Biipiigwan.

One of the best perks of being a reviewer is getting the hell surprised out of you by unheralded works such as "God's Hooks". These guys are as good as any sludge band out there.