Record Reviews

Album review: Bark “Written in Stone”

Belgian band Bark is a rabid dog barking at us on its glorious new album. Intense and wonderfully aggressive music!

Founded in Antwerp, Belgium in 2014, the band name Bark was inspired by the short rabid songs the band plays. They debuted in 2016 with the album “Voice of Dog” and followed that with 2017’s “Like Humans Do”. “Written in Stone” is the band’s third full-length studio album and it is a terrific album filled with intense and sweaty music. The band consists of Ron Bruynseels (vocals), Martin Furia (guitar), Toon Huet (guitar), Jorn Van der Straeten (bass) and Ward Van der Straeten (drums). It’s heavy music with terrific melodies. The guitar riffs are fantastic throughout the album. To me, it sounds as if California’s crossover thrash/punk cult band Suicidal Tendencies has been crossbred with Belgian extreme metal band Aborted, with a tiny bit of Rage Against The Machine seasoning as well, although Bark is a much heavier band. The band has managed to create a distinct and easily recognisable trademark Bark sound. It is such intense and wonderfully aggressive music! Bark’s Argentinian-born guitarist Martin Furia has produced the album which has a flawless production. The whole soundscape has Furia’s fingerprints on it. He is an artist that has a clear vision of what he wants to create and he has the talent and experience to make it happen. Furia is a terrific live and studio audio engineer and producer who has worked with bands such as Nervosa, Destruction, Flotsam & Jetsam, Evil Invaders, Aborted and many more. That experience has served him well in shaping Bark’s sound. Some of my favourite tracks on this solid album are the hard-hitting “I’m a Wreck”, “Hitman”, “Mass Lobotomy” and the furiously fast “The Spirit of the Streets”. “They Are All Dead” is the absolute highlight where I get some splendid At The Gates vibes. “Written in Stone” is a fierce and fantastic album by a great band.

Bark’s “Written in Stone” is out now.