55YT MQRT – Self Titled

55YT MQRT – Self Titled


55YT MQRT was formed in Redwood City, CA way back in 2006. At that point in time, my friend Neal Jensen and I were high schoolers deep diving into the world of psychedelic and progressive rock, our favorites being The Mars Volta, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson. We had just left our post-hardcore outfit Ending Reason and we very much wanted to explore some more experimental sonic territory ourselves.

We originally formed under the name Hellships. For reasons unknown to me now, we ended up dropping that name and instead chose to go by 55YT MQRT. Something about progressive rock that has always made us laugh is how often people complain that bands within the genre are “pretentious,” so we chose a name that we found maximally pretentious as a way to poke fun at the people who make such complaints. (Neal later ended up properly forming Hellships in Olympia, WA with Robin Flowers and Alex Freilich. I produced their two studio albums, Leaden Hum and Doom Organs in 2012 and 2015 respectively. I consider Hellships and 55YT MQRT to be sibling projects… Hellships is a bit more of an unhinged and “off the grid” fellow, whereas 55YT MQRT is an equally strange individual who somehow manages to hold down an office job.)

We developed the band’s compositional approach in the early days. We would do long improv sessions that were then edited down in Pro Tools into seamless songs. From there we would add elements, cut parts, and rearrange things until the songs felt complete. We released our early tracks on MySpace.

Within a year of forming the band, Neal moved to Olympia, leaving our project with an uncertain future. In 2010 I ended up deciding to move there as well. We became roommates and revived 55YT. We assembled an untitled album consisting mostly of ambient noise tracks. When we moved from our apartment into a house where we could make loud music, we started properly practicing again. Over the next roughly 4 years we would occasionally work on 55YT material, but during that time we did not properly record anything due to focusing on other projects (Hellships, A God or an Other, Bird Surgeon, The Lunch).

Neal eventually decided to move to Montana to pursue a master’s degree, and again this left the band with an unknown future. In January 2016, before he left, we decided to properly document what we had been working on, again following the edited improv approach of our early works. We quickly had solid recorded versions of our songs that represented what we had been doing live during that time: Neal playing a single guitar accompanied by myself on the drums. The lone overdub was bass for fullness. Neal then left for Montana. This version sounded complete to me, but not to Neal. He wanted to overdub some additional parts he had been imagining.

He came to visit Olympia and we recorded his extra ideas. Now that there were additional elements on certain scattered parts, the parts with no overdubs sounded empty to me! And thus, a nearly 8 year process began. Parts were added and edits were made in short bursts, usually when Neal would come to visit for a few days here and there. Sometimes the session sat for literally years without being opened. Finally, in November 2023… we knew it was complete.

It shocks me when I think of how different my personal world and even the world in general was when we began working on this album. I was pursuing music full time living in Washington state. Donald Trump was just beginning his first run and the idea of him becoming president was ludicrous. Since then, I moved halfway across the country, had a son and a daughter, worked as a cable technician for 4 years, and made my jump into software development as a career. And the whole pandemic thing happened.

This is my longest-running recording project to date. I don’t know how many people will connect with this album but this is one of my personal favorite releases I’ve ever put out. We had been envisioning creating something like this since high school. The vision is finally fulfilled.

Over the last couple of years Neal has regularly been coming from Iowa, where he currently resides, to visit our family in Colorado. During those visits we have been recording new tracks which will be the basis for the next 55YT MQRT album. If the pattern holds, we’ll release the next album somewhere around 2031. We’ll see!

Album art by Garrett Botkins.

Gapless w/ Lyrics on YouTube:

Stream or Download/Purchase (name-your-price) on Bandcamp:

Consequence of Sound – Mining Metal – The Fractal Ouroboros Blurb

Consequence of Sound – Mining Metal: Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze, Dwelling Below, Ὁπλίτης, Myaelin, Narzissus, Phobocosm, Resin Tomb, and Saevus Finis

It’s always frightening when a promising group goes silent for an extended spell, especially when that group does so in the midst of COVID, which wound up taking many many projects from us. So it was with tremendous relief that I saw Bull of Apis announce they had a new record in the can, and then exceeding delight when I finally heard it and found it to be better than the previous in every metric...

Full article here.

Distorted Sound – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

ALBUM REVIEW: The Fractal Ouroboros – Bull Of Apis, Bull Of Bronze

Colorado has produced some of the most exciting and interesting takes on extreme metal that the genre has seen in recent years; from BLOOD INCANTATION to WAYFARER, the Centennial State has produced some of the most stunning bands and albums within the US’ already impressive underground scene, with even relatively new bands creating some incredibly world class music. BULL OF APIS, BULL OF BRONZE are certainly one of the most impressive black metal acts to emerge from there in the last few years, with the trio’s debut album Offerings Of Flesh And Gold boasting some surprisingly broad and immersive musicianship within it. The band’s latest record, The Fractal Ouroboros, provides an even more sprawling take on the already gargantuan sound present on its predecessor, developing the heady and noxious blend even further.

Full article here.

Dead Rhetoric – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros (Fiadh Productions)

The Colorado-based trio first arrived with Offerings of Flesh and Gold in 2019, serving as an eye-opening introduction to a band willing to not only push boundaries, but obliterate them entirely. Their singular morph of avant-garde black metal and ambient music was a breath of fresh air to those who found it, and admittedly, this scribe only caught wind of them a few years after said debut dropped. However, when album number two, The Fractal Ouroboros, was announced, it quickly shot up my list of must-listen albums...

This album is a challenging listen, but those up to it will absolutely reap the rewards. Intense, sullen, and immersive, Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze have no doubt realized much of their seemingly limitless potential. Their stance against fascist ideologies is a poignant and timely one that raises the stakes of the band’s lyrical content, fitting well within the complexities of their musical endeavors. Altogether, what they provide is a raw black metal force of nature that grips tightly and won’t let up. The Fractal Ouroboros rips apart both conventions and our eardrums with a conscience.

Full article here.

AngryMetalGuy – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze manages to create a mammoth hour-and-fifteen length that takes its precious time before crushing your soul with calculated second-wave intensity. The swell and lull of its atmosphere has its time and place, thus lending The Fractal Ouroboros its immense but supremely organic feel, each track moving fluidly among its influences and giving each track a unique identity to fuse into the tapestry of the album’s pitch-black palette and atmosphere – dark and unholy places constructed under godlike suns...

Because the album takes its time at well over an hour, the atmosphere must be front and center. Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze does not disappoint in this regard, weaponizing an array of synth tricks to concoct such a relentlessly dark aura throughout. “A History of Cages and Broken Bones” and “Our Overt Apocalypse” are mammoth tracks of jolting doom and scathing tremolo that crash through the thick ambiance, while fiery vocals guide the movements. The quiet climaxes of “Annihilation” and “Liberation Ritual” showcase the stolen weight of the darkness, dwelling heavy and dense smoke-filled atmosphere, existential dread coursing through every fiber of the slow-burning movements. The ambient swell of the former transitions neatly into the shamanistic drumming of the latter, constructing a darkened tabernacle that feels more authentic and human, a whisper, than its explosive tendencies.

Full article here.

Metal Storm – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

I’ve mentioned before that I absolutely love anticipating sophomore albums as a music reviewer. In many ways, the sophomore effort is the real test of a band’s mettle more than anything. It’s the ultimate demonstration of the question of whether or not a solid debut was simply a dumb luck fluke on the part of the band. Yeah, they got the check mark once. But can they do it again?

Well, in the case of Colorado’s Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze, let’s skip the cliffhangers and just definitively say that the answer is overwhelmingly a “Yes.” This powerful black metal trio first came through in 2019 with the Offerings Of Flesh And Gold debut, one of my favorites from that year and with some absolutely beautiful artwork to boot. I was drawn to the band by their name immediately, a direct reference to Egyptian mythology and the legendary bull who would carry the Sun on its head to Ptah at Memphis. But their music grabbed me even more. Within Offerings were three thick slabs of dense, whirling ambient black metal, that, most noticeably, took its time with a great sense of pacing between the ambiance and the more raging black metal sound.

Full article here.

Grug Listen Music – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros
So fun to say name this band. Feel like cast magic spell! Like summon ancient spirits! Grug love that cover and lyrics add to feel important. If no listen this yet Grug think you listen with read lyrics must! Words make poem. Flow so nice. Make think. Not just about evil or sads. Important for society. Spoken word feel so good!

Guitar sound stunning. So big! Big snow storm mountain soaring tremolo! So many times grug feel guitar pierce into mind! Some parts make go "heck yeah" some parts give Grug goosebumps! Parts calling back to other songs make song family. Grug adore guitar feedback. It big player in album. Happen on most songs. Like secret man peek behind curtain. Come on stage for big moments! Know something important happen when guitar feedback sounds come! Grug love how express vocals from talk to sad to shout to fire. Hear and feel what being said. Work so great as extra instrument and as cling to words.

Full article here.

Noob Heavy – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

Album Review: Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – “The Fractal Ouroboros” (RABM)

Four years ago, Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze broke out onto the black metal scene with their phenomenal debut Offerings of Flesh and Gold, an album I adored so much I bought it on all physical formats (tape, CD, and vinyl). It was my album of the year in 2019, as well as one of my first real introductions to RABM... Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze have somehow managed to take a perfect debut album and use it as a building block to create something even better with their sophomore project. I had begun to wonder if they were a band who would drop one perfect album and disappear never to be heard from again, and I am beyond grateful that was not the case, as they continue to cultivate an S-tier discography that I can only hope will continue forward from here.

Full article here.

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros


Today marks the official release of our album The Fractal Ouroboros. It was a massive undertaking. We began recording nearly four years ago, early in the awful year of 2020. The process was slow and painstaking, continually interrupted by the realities of our lives and the reality of living through the pandemic. The isolation and subtle terror of those times deeply informed the final piece, but so did hope. Hope for a better immediate future, as well as hope for a longer term reality where humans are kinder to one another, and where our culture overcomes feeble tendencies like racism, sexism, and homophobia. I am proud of this creation and have been quite pleased to see the reception to it so far. It means a lot to me that it has been finding its way to people with whom it resonates.

I played the drums and mixed and mastered the album. It is being released digitally, on cassette, and on double LP vinyl via Fiadh Productions in the US and Vita Detestabilis in Europe.

Double LP / Cassette (US) – Fiadh Productions Bandcamp

Double LP / Cassette (Europe) – Vita Detestabilis Bandcamp

Digital / 3 Shirt Designs / BOABOB Tea (Worldwide) – Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze Bandcamp

Rocking – The Fractal Ouroboros Review

Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros

"The Fractal Ouroboros", with an unparalleled cover, again by Alex CF , lasts 75 minutes and is a colossal achievement. No, its duration is not a deterrent. The compositional concept of Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze allows them to transcend themselves and create an album that unfolds its virtues holistically. In addition, they musically transform the spirit of the enigmatic title of the record into an effective musical concept. A basic dark but clear melody, slow, returns at regular intervals throughout the seven compositions of the record. It emerges from the dust of suffocating riffing, from stormy outbursts, ambient parts, almost funeral doom shots, and it haunts.

"The Fractal Ouroboros" through the nuggets and glimpses of another world it reveals between its parts, is an album that seems detached from the demands of its time. It won't excite you all at once, but if you get together with it, as with the projects mentioned on bandcamp, you will see that this is a record that starts from the individual subconscious and leads you to social and collective claims for a better tomorrow. The cycle must be broken. Imagination is the key.

- Translated from Greek by Google Translate

Full article here.