Basque Country, I was sort of hesitant to really take it in. And you know what? I regret my hesitation. 413's "Path to Hocma" is one of the most intriguing metal albums I've heard in a while.
413 is the bass-centric (you won't find any guitars on this album!) project solo musician David Pisabarro. Taking cues from the usual hardcore, sludge and post-rock, we also see 413 incorporating traditional musics of the Basque country and film music to create a dichotomous, angular-heavy-meets-expansive-and-pensive sound. At times sounding like a progressive hardcore band like Shai Hulud, while at others almost reminiscent of progressive jazz doom trio Stinking Lizaveta, the genre-hopping seen throughout this album kept me at the edge of my seat. Pisabarro is obviously a very talented songwriter and orchestrator. On this album you'll hear choirs, triumphant brass, and intriguing keyboard textures to complement the low-end, fuzzy layers of bass.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of this whole album is that it is absolutely FREE, both digitally and physically (to obtain a physical copy, fill out the email form with your address!). A rather bold move for such an obscure band, but the free-media approach to gaining recognition and support is something that hasn't really been embraced by the greater metal community and is something that I happen to enjoy (not only because I'm a poor college student). Pisabarro wants to share his music with the world, even at his own expense, which is something for which I hold immense respect.
Be sure to donate some money, however minuscule the amount, so that David will be able to create more music!