Artist: Bantha Rider
Album: Binary Sunset Massacre
Label: Piranha Music
Release Date: 04/12/2020
Written by James Sweetlove
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. Bantha Rider released Binary Sunset Massacre on December 4th on Prihana Music. In our galaxy’s time frame, the album drops tomorrow.
If you aren’t familiar with Bantha Rider, they’re a Polish trio that hail from Warsaw, Poland. The band formed back in 2015 and this will be their debut full-length, which follows their 2017 debut self-titled EP. The band play an instrumental blend of stoner/sludge and doom with a few psychedelic elements, and did I mention that their music was is Star Wars themed?
Hence the band name, Bantha Rider, as a bantha is a creature native to the planet Tatooine in the Star Wars universe. The band is Art (drums), Chris (guitar) and Bart (bass). The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Kongo Studio by Jacek Stasiak and the art work was done by Dragonaut.
The album kicks off with a short mood setting intro track, which also happens to be the album’s title track. Following this we break out into the immediately crushing De Wanna Wanga which is a form of greeting from one of the many languages in Star Wars and is said by Bib Fortuna in episode VI. The track has a fantastic energy to it, chocked full of heavy fuzzy riffs. From start to finish it’s got a great rhythm to it and really shows why the band don’t require any vocals or lyrics.
Track 3 is titled the The Gamorrean, for anyone who isn’t aware Gamorreans are a sentient species of green-skinned pig-like humanoids that hailed from the Outer Rim planet of Gamorr. The track continues on with the same heaviness that track 2 demonstrated, this time though we get a bit more brooding energy to it, its a little heavier and a little dirtier. We get more diversity in the guitar work on this track, with some great hooks and riffs. Around 4:40 things get insanely heavy, honestly its impressive. We get some really interesting guitar work around the 6 minute mark and then wrap up the track with some high energy riffs.
Track 4 is titled Boonta Eve, which was one of three holidays established to commemorate the victories of the Hutts against the Parliament of Moralan and Xim the Despot at the Third Battle of Vontor. It was named after Boonta the Hutt. The track opens with a sci-fi sounding sound clip, which is then joined by guitar. This track is more in line with track 2 in parts, but also features some psychedelic influences and some fantastic psych style guitar work.
Track 5 Sagittarius is one of only two non-Star Wars themed tracks on the album. We get a blend of psychedelic rock and heavy psych elements here, with some very groovy guitar work. The track has a great energy to it and the guitar is truly captivating. There are also some fantastic bass lines on this track, in fact the bass plays a larger roll on this song than anywhere else on the album other than track 8. The song comes in at 6:30 but honestly it could have gone on for another 5 minutes and still maintained my interest.
Track 6 is titled Rancor’s Delight, Rancors were large semi-sentient reptilian carnivores native to the planet Dathomir. Luke fights and kills Jabba’s pet rancour Pateesa in Episode VI. The song starts with a sound clip of the rancour approaching and then roaring, before leaping into some fuzzy guitar work. This is another super heavy track, (arguably the heaviest on the album), the guitars are extremely downtuned and at a few points could even pass for death metal guitar work. There’s also plenty of fuzz and reverb present here. As well as heaviness we get a lot of technicality present on this track, with some really impressive guitar work.
Track 8 March of the Banthas is a super bass heavy track, kicking off with some fantastic bass work that eventually melts into the guitar work that appears. This is another truly heavy track, with guitar and bass overlapping for basically. The track doesn’t really let up at all, just pummeling the listener from start to finish with a loud, heavy. overwhelming wall of noise. This also
happens to be the second longest track on the album coming in at 9:30.
Finally, we have track 9 Pazuzu, the only other song title on the album that isn’t Star Wars themed. We start with an audio clip of what sounds like some kind of animals or aliens making sounds, then some more psych-based guitar leads us out of that noise and on a journey through space and time. This continues until about 3:30 when things get much heavier. The song runs for 13:03, making in the longest on the album. The remainder of the track is a blend between atmosphere laden psych and stoner guitar and heavy, crushing, reverb laden doom/sludge. This is honestly a fantastic closer to a great album and wraps things up nicely.
Overall, this is a solid release and deserves any praise and attention it may get. While some may find it ‘boring’ that there are no vocals, that’s on them, because if you can’t enjoy these instrumentals based solely on their own merit then you’re the one that has a problem. From start to finish we get a great blend of styles and sounds, a plethora of killer riffs and all of it is tied together by the awesome Star Wars theme that the band apply to their music. So take some time out of your day and listen to the album.
Listen to and pre-order below:
Listen to the full album thanks to Piranha Music