Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Calls Bokassa “My New Favorite Band”

  • Axl Rosenberg

I admit, I’d never heard of Bokassa before they sent us an e-mail gloating that Lars Ulrich from Metallica recently went on the radio and called them “my new favorite band.” But I couldn’t blame them for showing off — like you wouldn’t do the exact same thing if Lars complimented your band! — and, I admit, Ulrich’s endorsement piqued my curiosity.

And y’know what? Say what you will about the diminutive Danish drummer — this is an gnarly recommendation. Bokassa’s 2017 release, Divide & Conquer, sounds kinda like if the band’s fellow Norwegians, Kvelertak, leaned a little more into punk and crossover and a little less into classic rock. Or maybe Cancer Bats, if Cancer Bats sounded somehow more technical and less polished. Divide & Conquer doesn’t have any harmonized guitar solos (although there’s no lack of ill leads), and the vocals are less harsh than Kvelertak’s (by metal standards — don’t worry, your mom will still loathe it), but there’s lots of thrashy riffs, chunky grooves, and gang vocals designed for maximum crowd catharsis at live gigs. I suspect that if there was a Venn diagram of Kvelertak fans, Cancer Bats fans, Iron Reagan fans, and Hatebreed fans, Bokassa fans would exist at the intersection.

Check out Divide & Conquer below and see if you agree with Ulrich’s assessment or not. You can buy it here. It’s also on Spotify and all the usual streaming suspects.

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