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Are Bölzer about to turn the extreme metal scene on its head?

One of the underground’s most incendiary and celebrated properties, Bölzer are about to drop their long-awaited debut – and promise to change the metal scene in the process

Cult hero status can be a blessing and a curse. Having spent the last eight years steadily cultivating their reputation as one of the metal underground’s most compelling and idiosyncratic new acts, via two acclaimed EPs and live shows that have already become the stuff of legend, Switzerland’s Bölzer are about to release their first full album with an insane amount of expectation bearing down on them.

Whether you regard them as wildly creative musical messiahs or hapless victims of gormless hipster hype, this band are a massive deal right now and Hero – that title, a reassuringly fearless statement in itself – is already one of the most important and fervently anticipated metal albums of 2016. Speaking with vocalist/guitarist Okoi ‘KzR’ Jones, it’s obvious that he views his band’s rise to prominence with some bemusement, but also that he understands why the next move he and percussive foil Fabian ‘HzR’ Wyrsch make will be placed under immense scrutiny. When the band premiered new song I Am III online in August, even this newly anointed standard bearer for the underground ethos was tempted to check out the response.

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