Record Reviews

Album review: Bottlekopf “The Jokes Are Over”

Bottlekopf serves up a hearty Polish meat-and-potatoes death metal dish with a twist.

The production of “The Jokes Are Over” is basic and it fits Bottlekopf’s music well. This is raw, unpolished death metal. But the sound is a bit different from your standard Floridian or Gothenburg-style death metal. Bottlekopf has certainly brought some of its own Polish heritage and ideas into the world of death metal. The vocals have an Eastern European touch, which adds to the authenticity and quality of the overall sound. This is much better than all those singers around the world who are trying too hard – and often unsuccessfully – to sound like they are from Florida. This band is from Katowice, not Tampa. The music too has a style that makes this stand out with its own character. It is less relentless and not as intensive, but it has a doomy and thrash-heavy side to it. This is a band that is not just trying to copy the death metal sound of the early 1990s. Marek “Chłosta” Szefer – on guitar and lead vocals – founded the band in 2010. In 2014 the band released its debut album “Absolutely Nothing”. Now Chlosta is back with a new line-up and a new album, “The Jokes Are Over”. In the current line-up of Bottlekopf, Chlosta is joined by Marcin “Martino” Glanda on drums and Radosław Surówka on bass. Chlosta and his death brothers are not afraid of pushing boundaries. On the one hand, this is straightforward meat-and-potatoes death metal. But, at the same time, on the other hand, this is a band bringing its own style and influences into the album’s soundscape. This means that we get parts of some songs where the band strays away from the death metal and wanders off into experimental lands. Most of the fabulous track “Brainwash” is hard to categorise as death metal, but it is a great, experimental metal track. Bottlekopf, unlike some other death metal bands, is not afraid of having a good time and putting a smile on the faces of the listeners as is evident with the fun track “Dead Blues”. Yes, to my delight, it sounds like the song title indicates. The heavy and gloomy “Justice” is a fab song whose guitar riffs get stuck in my head. “Six Six” is catchy in a deathy way. This band is not trying to fit in. They are doing their own thing. This album is an unpolished gem.

Bottlekopf’s new album “The Jokes Are Over” is out now via Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho.