Bofo Kwo – Space/ Time Carnivorium
Release Date: 30/06/2020
Running Time: 44:36
Review by Dark Juan
Good evening, my good brethren and sorority of the Church of The Poisoned Mind. I trust I find you all well, hale and hearty, or are you dying gracefully on your silken chaise-longues after a weekend of drug fuelled wanton debauchery? I myself have been sharpening my wits on the skulls of hapless former victims and putting ignorance about our Lord and Master, The One Who Walks Backwards, to the sword. Normally with a foul snicker, a gallon of aviation fuel and a match. There are some right ignorant bastards out there, boys and girls. It is your duty to educate these motherfuckers and sharp sticks just ain’t gonna cut it. You’re going to need to go full on Highlander on these arseholes and use claymores. You don’t cut with a claymore, you hew. Like Conan the barbarian did – “Sweat dripping from his bulging sinews and from beneath his square-cut mane of black, shoulder length hair, Conan hefted his impossibly large two-handed broadsword (fnarr fnarr), roared a challenge to his heinous foe before plunging his extraordinary blade to the hilt (fnarr FNARR!) into the soft groin of his enemy. Tearing upwards with a sobbing gasp (what the FUCK was it about Robert E. Howard and his obsession with Conan’s weapon and what he was doing with it?), a welter of entrails and blood coated his hands and the vile beast shuddered its last, to fall stone dead by his sandaled feet.”
Quality writing, that. I’m sure you were just as entertained and edified as I was by that little pastiche. As usual there is a point to the madness. What? What do you mean you don’t believe me? You absolute SHOWER!!! ANYWAY, to drag you all back to the point of all this, I am listening to a magnificently barmy Finnish band called Bofo Kwo, and the record is entitled ”Space/ Time Carnivorium”. This is a concept album by some Finnish mentalists from Helsinki, detailing the journey of three cannibals (Bofo Kwo, Bomari and Wamufo) among the stars and their adventures as they leave trails of devastation, murder, and probably a lot of half eaten meals behind them, before graduating to eating alien flesh (hope they had a sophisticated lab setup to test for pathogens – imagine contracting some mental new form of alien hepatitis) and then performing a last human sacrifice before hoping to attain the power of immortality via mystic teachings of the ancients and becoming the Golden God. Oh, and they appear to arbitrarily start a war against Rex Talpas, The Rodent King, because fuck you, Rex, your people are fucking delicious with a barbeque glaze and a nice Caesar salad. This is spectacularly insane stuff, not out of place on an Esoctrilihum album, and that worthy Frenchman is seriously fucked in the head… Bofo Kwo aren’t quite as demented as Esoctrilihum but they are close. I should tell you about the main characters in the band as each band member plays one and then we have this strange kind of meta-black death metal hybrid where the members of the band perform as the characters while playing the music – it’s not like Coheed and Cambria where the story was told from the point view of a narrator in Claudio Sanchez. We have Bofo Kwo , The Cannibal King and his associates. They are Wamufo and Bomari, albino twins, one male and one female and they follow/ are dragged along in the wake of Bofo Kwo and his abundantly clear cannibalistic psychopathy.
So, a cut above the usual Satanic bollocks that BM bands normally spew out then. I imagine Bofo Kwo listened to Emperor’s “Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise” and thought that they could come up with a more insane concept after drinking a shitload of something potent. While the musicianship is by no means close to Emperor’s lofty standards, this is a mighty fine blackened death/ deathened black metal record. It’s rather less frenetic than traditional black metal, but this to your advantage as there are many little things and other genres of music that creep around the edge of your cognition. There’s little touches of industrial music, or goregrind and my personal favourite – Bofo Kwo have rediscovered power electronics. Don’t panic, metal purists, they are kept strictly as mood enhancers, although I’d personally like to hear Bofo Kwo take BM in a whole violent, new direction and meld power electronics with black metal and see what kind of carnage that bastard chimera could wreak among an unsuspecting populace…
In the spirit of this being a concept album, it is going to be impossible to choose a favourite song as it has to be listened to in sequence in order for you to follow the story effectively. The songs do stand out as individual entities though – I particularly enjoyed ‘Green Leviathan’ as a stand-alone song. But then the lyrics reference previous songs and you need to go back to understand it fully. It’s not so much a listening experience, as much as a get horrifically fucking stoned, buy some expensive headphones and sink into your mind’s eye while you get bludgeoned to death by chronically insane Finnish people experience. It is a bleak musical picture that Bofo Kwo paint. The music is cold, barren and steely and the performances excellent. Main vocalist Ted (playing Bofo Kwo himself) alternately roars and howls and shrieks in an entertainingly deranged fashion that fully meets with Dark Juan’s approval. The music is intricate and interesting and the mix passable. It’s difficult to hear cymbals and the producer appears to have not been able to make his mind up about whether he wanted to embrace the purity of the traditional lo-fi black metal sound (guitars sounding like they have been recorded in a Norwegian forest in a gale force wind by a microphone that has been fashioned from razorwire, sputum and polystyrene cement. From a submarine off the Swedish coast) to the warmer, thicker aesthetic of death metal and dare I say it, grunge (guitar and bass sounding like they have been recorded on equipment created entirely out of meat. In a slaughterhouse. In the unrefrigerated bit) and this leads to a sometimes confusing sound. However, the bass is enough to eviscerate you cleanly at twenty five yards, and the riffs are just simple and effective killing machines without embellishment.
And I think that’s where my main problem with Bofo Kwo lies. They should have gone BIGGER. With the overarching tale underpinning the songs and the aesthetic, I think Bofo Kwo have been too reserved with the music. They should have thrown the entire fucking kitchen at it. You’re telling a story about intergalactic cannibals – you simply can’t go too big. It’s not fundamentally possible. Anyway, I’m being churlish. This is that rare thing, a record that is interesting simply because of how many norms it breaks. It is musically adventurous, not afraid to delve deep for influences that might escape you on the first listen, and let’s face it, Dark Juan is a fucking sucker for concept albums. I love them. There are many things you will miss during the initial listen of this record and by jiminy it rewards repeated attempts at it. Just to hear Whitehouse-esque power electronics. Add to this that Bofo Kwo are doing this on their DEBUT album, and you have to conclude that once the rough edges are knocked off, this bunch of maniacal cannibal holocaust Finnish mad bastards are going to do great things. I think I am in love.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System(Patentoitu tumman Juanin verihiutausluokitusjärjestelmä – fuck it, close enough!) awards Bofo Kwo a splendidly bonkers 9/10 for a record that is a gnat’s wing away from greatness.
01. Plate Of Hate
02. Second Sun
04. New Destination
05. Green Leviathan
06. Bullets of Despair
07. The Massacre
Ted Egger (Bofo Kwo) – Vocals
Janne Winther (Bomari) – Backing Vocals
Kimmo Lindholm (Wamufo) – Lead Guitar
Elmo Winther (Lord Elmonioz) – Backing Vocals
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