Bison B.C. is Canadian, and they sound like a stoned Mastodon, perhaps a Baroness with anger issues. I don't blame you if you just threw up in your mouth a little bit. Kidding aside, Bison B.C. (adding annoying abbreviations due to copyright issues is all the rage these days) has had some success doing the sludge/stoner metal boogie despite failing to grasp the warm receptions and large audiences of their cohorts—they had released two full-length releases before this one, which received positive reviews and probably several high fives. "Lovelessness" sort of marked the end of an era for Bison B.C., as the group had been a longtime member of the Metal Blade Records family until the label had had enough of polishing the mammoth logs dropped by this beast and ultimately canned them, apparently. It seems that no love is lost throughout "Lovelessness." That much is clear.
While I have no experience with the other releases, "Lovelessness" seems to boast the sludge/stoner metal traits of Baroness and Mastodon with a few idiosyncrasies to help them stand out from the herd, and I'm assuming this apple didn't fall far from the Bison tree. This is fairly standard stuff for what it sounds like, using slow-roasted riffs which smolder at a snail's pace above crawling drums and slicing shouts to complete the picture of "Lovelessness." Sometimes they get a little brave and throw in an up-tempo section with varying degrees of success: the hammering pattern during "An Old Friend" leaves little of worth to point out, yet the increased speed and intensity during "Finally Asleep" brings bloody goodness to an album that's otherwise cooking the auditory atmosphere slowly on a spit. Heavy, filthy, and honest—the holy trinity of this kind of thing.
Not a very challenging or ambitious album at the end of the day, though—they sort of just run through the meticulous motions of a rudimentary sludge/stoner metal band that spends the day smoking joints and digging through mud. There's just not enough content here that makes Bison B.C. seem relevant or significant, although "Lovelessness" has its moments. It seems like there's a lot of room for Bison B.C. to unleash something creative and perplexing, but instead they bounce from track to track without doing anything unique. Not that the record is bad, but it is painfully formulaic and mired by underdeveloped pieces that run for far too long and fail to make Bison B.C. anything more than a Mastodon sibling. The one song truly worth its salt is the eleven-minute "Blood Music," which is a bruising concoction of intensity and atmosphere. The fast-paced pummeling throughout "Finally Asleep" isn't too shabby, either, as mentioned.
In sum, a passable release by a sludge/stoner metal tribe that dabbles into realms both decent and lacking. If forty-five minutes of muddy sludge is on your to-do list, then look no further; this shall fill your heart's desire. Not much else can be said about "Lovelessness," though. Bison B.C. has conquered a barren plateau of heavy riffs, gritty vocals, and harsh environments throughout "Lovelessness," and they do what they do with pride and power. The bands that they clearly take after, however, have easily surpassed them in terms of quality and consistency; it's not an exaggeration to state that they're merely walking on a pre-paved path. A common piece of sludge/stoner metal when all is said and done.