Music can strike you in many different ways; for some it can be lyrics that are overly-relatable, others are catchy to the extent of becoming a musical addiction, but then there are albums like this that drive hooks into you in ways that you didn’t expect.
Divide & Conquer is a beautifully heavy album. Bokassa create a post-hardcore sound with some heavy punk influences in the melodies. The result is something that sends your head into that rush that only the heaviest of rock can deliver, but the vocals add an element that is rarely found in music with this particular sound. I feel like I am rambling without actually making my point, so lets just say that Divide & Conquer contains the best features of punk with the best of Hardcore/in-your-face-heavyshitecore.
The one downfall with this, however, is one that I find with any band with this sound. It is an odd one, as much as I love filling my collection with ridiculously heavy material, I need something melodic, catchy, or at least standout to leave me with an everlasting impression. Now although Bokassa constantly deliver those hooks, between the opening and closing tracks, the sound is straying close to that “samey” line, but personally, I feel they deliver just about enough to keep off it and pull off a constantly enjoyable experience.
Those songs at either end of the album though; Intro offers a soft acoustic guitar with some atmospheric cymbals to fade the album into its heavier sound, as the overdriven guitars start to take over. It in a way builds you up towards what could be a number of styles to follow, fitting the opening of a metal, or even more progressive record. Closing epic, Stoner Anthem, is a bit more along those metal/progressive lines, with its huge depth in guitars and structure. The tempo is brought back down here, for the most part, and almost acts as a final blow. At the very least, it serves the purpose of closing the album, and not just leaving you with the emptiness of “oh, it’s finished now”, which is becoming a strong dislike of mine these days.
Everything in between; pretty much as alluded to earlier. Each song is a hardcore-frenzy with some fantastic punk hooks, roughly edged vocals that give Bokassa’s sound that push to make Divide & Conquer a listening experience not to be missed. The energy throughout will get your head nodding along to with the drums, and the combination of styles will draw any fan of punk and hardcore back for multiple listens.
I thoroughly approve of this one.
Jake Hancke – 11/04/2017
Divide & Conquer is available to buy now from All Good Clean Records
You can find more on Bokassa on their Facebook page.