It’s always thrilling to see bands we like try different things. When the announcement was made a while back in 2013, that Welsh heroes Bastions were set to release a two-part conceptual EP, it was fairly intriguing to hear where this could lead. Less than a year since the release of four tracks designed as Bedfellow Part 1: The Bastard Son (reviewed here), we were cheerfully awaiting the second installment that would also mark the end of the Bedfellows concept (It’s must be reminded that these nine songs were inspired by a tragic story based in the 1950’s, that speaks a dramatic successions of events in a family, where a mother miscarriages on her third child, buries the remains and then walks into the sea leaving her husband and two children behind.)
Expected on 27th January through Holy Roar Records and produced by Jag Jago (ex-The Ghost of a Thousand), Bedfellow Part 2: The Forgotten Daughter is the thematically linked follow up EP. The band incarnated in a remarkable way this family‘s story and the last five tracks are even better and more storming than the first set.
For who may wonder where this could go from now, after the atmospheric and monstrous ending of ‘Among Crows’ on part.1, Bastions directly decides to speed things up. The transition comes in a forthright way with a fast rhythmic drumming on ‘Empty Vessels’ that instantly blow things off. It looks like the band decided to focus on loudness and aggression, giving this EP a more direct tone. ‘Foreign Bodies’ is a track that presents Bastions’ more destructive side. It’s a frantic, faster-paced song than the previous opener and possibly the heaviest track of this EP. ‘Mother’s Ruin’ might be the song that corresponds the most to Bastions attributes. Overwhelming, aggressive screams and hard-hitting guitars, always assembled with a somehow “calm before the storm” riff. It’s extremely intense and cathartic.
The Welsh quartet remains a hardcore band but pays tribute to various genres, from post-metal to more chaotic sonorities (‘The Water Tower’). Every song is a blistering torrent that genuinely incarnates feelings of despair and desolation. It’s an incredible job they achieved here, forging emotions all along both EP’s. It also can be heard how the foggy and melancholic environment they’re hailing from (note: “the most northern point of Wales”) inspired their songwriting process. Final track ‘Murmuring’ comes in with a different approach, a soft blues riff supported by distant screams, before it goes off one last time in a crushing break. Their story must end.
Bastions released another emotion-filled, heart-pumping work that needs to be listened altogether several times to fully apprehend this experience. If released together, these two EP’s could have been one powerful full album but Bastions took time to release each entity separately so we could distinctively enjoy them. Rewarding choice. It’s another top-class performance delivered by these guys, in an already flawless discography.
Track list – Bedfellow Part 2: The Forgotten Daughter:
1. Empty Vessels
2. Foreign Bodies
3. Mother’s Ruin
4. The Water Tower
Written by Alex Tabankia