Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Barishi - Old Smoke

It's been four years since we've heard from Barishi. In the interim they've lost a singer and had him replaced by Graham Brooks who now handles guitar and vocals. One might think that this would lead to more straightforward compositions from the prog metal upstarts, but as luck would have it it seems to be that Barishi are executing at a higher level than ever before. Their new offering, Old Smoke is a stunner, driving from peak to peak and repeatedly proving that Barishi are among the best in the prog metal game.

In many ways Barishi feel like an early version of Mastodon - or what Mastodon could have been. Their music is relentlessly technical, full of spiraling riffs and unique nooks and crannies. Meanwhile the intensity and precision of the songwriting suggests almost a Gojira-esque element to the band. The point being - if there was ever a group who really understood the heavier side of prog metal it was Barishi. Their music is exciting, over the top and just generally speaking the sort of thing that you can get lost in. This band - more than many others of their time and place operate with a deep understanding of this style of music.

To kick off the new record with a pair of 10 minute long tracks, the two longest songs of the bands career (Until of course the album closer!), is a ballsy move to be sure. However it speaks to just how far Barishi has come. Each track, in fact the entire first side really takes the listener on the journey. As you flip the album over and fall into side two the journey finds thrilling new directions. It's hard not to be enamored with Old Smoke, the band are one of a kind and ungodly talented - what more could you really ask for from a prog metal band? 

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