REVIEW: Bokassa – Crimson Riders


If it weren't for METALLICA, I probably wouldn't have heard of the Norwegian stoner punk act BOKASSA. The band is currently touring with METALLICA and GHOST, and will halt in Hämeenlinna later in July. Before that, however, the band is releasing a brand new full-length album "Crimson Riders". 


The album opens with "Brologue", an instrumental track, that in deep contrast with the rest of the album, could fit on a sludge metal, or doom metal album. It's dark, grim and it gave me quite an opposite impression of what I had thought the album would be like. It transitions into "Charmed & Extremely Treacherous", which gives a better indication of what the band sounds like. It feels a bit like a mixture of alternative metal, and nineties punk rock. "Vultures" has a more poppy sound to it, with a catchy hook, and it's probably the most radio-friendly song the band has. The saxophone solo in the middle of the song, definitely lifts it up to a higher level. "Mouthbreathers, Inc." could definitely fit in the punk rock movement of the nineties, but has some definite MOTÖRHEAD vibes to it as well, surprisingly it comes with poppy and big choruses followed by a heavy-ass riff, a combination that you almost wouldn't expect. Towards the end of the song, it even leans in a tiny bit towards thrash metal, and somehow it all falls into place as to why this band got picked as METALLICA's opener. This becomes even more clear in "Wrath Is Love", which also has that sludgy feel like in the opener of the album. The album's title track "Crimson Riders" definitely deserved to be picked as the album title, it has a lot of epic moments, it builds up really beautifully, and it's perhaps my personal favorite on the album, including weird tempo-changes, a lot of aggression and just plainly a cool-ass attitude somewhere in between. "Captain Cold One" is a more rhythmic song, with outstanding lyrics. "Blunt Force Karma" could be a hardcore song, this is definitely a song that audiences would mosh to on a show. It's fast, it's furious, and it doesn't slow down. "Immortal Space Pirate 2" is the last track of the album, including stoner riffs, blast beats and a lot of darkness, and the best way possible to end the album with. 

BOKASSA's unique approach with "Crimson Riders" will definitely tickle the hearts of punk rock, hardcore, stoner rock, and even thrash metal fanatics. The band often steps outside the frameworks of their genre, and does creative things within the songs, such as for example that random saxophone solos. I definitely recommend this album, it's very unique in its kind, and it makes me definitely want to look up more about the band in general. 


  1. Brologue
  2. Charmed & Extremely Treacherous
  3. Vultures
  4. Mouthbreathers Inc.
  5. Wrath Is Love
  6. Crimson Riders
  7. Captain Cold One
  8. Blunt Force Karma
  9. Immortal Space Pirate 2: The Last Shredi


Jørn Kaarstad – vocals, guitar
Bård Linga – bass
Olav Dowkes – drums




  1. […] But as Monty Python has taught us, always look on the bright side of life, music heals and as soon as the bands were scheduled to play, this clusterfuck turned into something much more beautiful. BOKASSA was scheduled to play at 18.45 and the band started about five minutes late. The festival area had filled up quite neatly, and the band was set to play. If you hadn’t heard of BOKASSA before the METALLICA tour, they’re a stoner punk trio hailing from Norway. Lars Ulrich himself declared the stoner punk band his favorite new band in 2018, and it was thus no surprise he took them on tour. I’m quite intrigued as to how he got to hear about the band because before the tour at least we hadn’t heard from them, but we were pleasantly surprised by their latest studio effort “Crimson Riders” (read the review here). […]