Album Review: Boss Keloid – Family The Smiling Thrush (Ripple Music)

For more than a decade Boss Keloid have produced some of the most mind altering, genre expanding music whilst gaining a reputation album on album for never musically standing still. With a style that has altered, evolved and grown in confidence over the years yet still remains true to a sound that is uniquely Boss Keloid, there is no band out there quite like them.

Now the British metal/prog-rockers are set to release their fifth full-length, Family The Smiling Thrush via Ripple Music on June 4th 2021. An album which demonstrates the biggest transformation to date in the band’s sound, Boss Keloid have entered a new realm, leaning more toward the soaring majesty of monumental prog-rock whilst embracing their metal edge.

Has it really been 3 years since Boss Keloid’s Melted On The Inch blew me away? It was the first album I heard by the progressive metallers and it made me an instant fan. They’re easily one of the best things in British rock and metal right now and if you’re unconvinced by that statement then just listen to Family the Smiling Thrush. An album that is every bit the Boss Keloid we love but more importantly, it’s a developed and forward thinking Boss Keloid.

As progressive as ever, as chunky and groovy as ever, as harmonious and heavy as ever, this is one of the most exciting things you’ll hear all year. That it is also so heavily focused on positivity makes it all the better. The sort of feeling many of us need in these constantly trying times.

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It’s a wild but captivating ride, that should be obvious if you’ve been a fan of Boss Keloid for some time. If this is your first foray into their brand of driven and focused madness then be prepared for some drooling as your mouth gapes open for around 46 minutes.

What an opener, Orang of Noyn is. 9 thrilling minutes that fly by in a 3rd of that time. The off-kilter melody broken up by heavy thrusts. The wonderful harmonisation of all the instruments is spectacular to the ears and the mind. It makes you feel good and even more excited for what comes next.

Talking of which…

Gentle Clovis has a playful groove that gets more and more robust sounding as it goes on. Moving melodies that shake and fit, a wild bout of progressive heaviness and a constant feeling that it can go anywhere at anytime and Boss Keloid will make it work. Although that also applies to the album as a whole. It’s not like the flurry of instrumentation that dominates Hats the Mandrill is any less eclectic. Nor is the battle of touching melody and growling heavy rhythm that makes Smiling Thrush so enjoyable.

It’s so addictive. So much so that getting through the entire album actually takes a while as each track needs immediate replay. Who doesn’t hear the progressive beasts and veritable head-bangers that are Cecil Succulent and Grendle and just want to listen to them over and over again?

All good things must come to an end though and Family the Smiling Thrush is not a short album. It just feels like it is because of how much it draws you in, sits you down comfortably and then performs a gob-smacking showcase of musical magic. The final track is Flatt Controller and it is the perfect mix of hard-hitting Boss Keloid rock, proggy melody and weird groove.

Outstanding. Not just that finish, but the album as a whole.

Boss Keloid – Family the Smiling Thrush Full Track Listing:

1. Orang of Noyn
2. Gentle Clovis
3. Hats the Mandrill
4. Smiling Thrush
5. Cecil Succulent
6. Grendle
7. Flatt Controller


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Boss Keloid - Family The Smiling Thrush (Ripple Music)
  • The Final Score - 10/10
User Review
9.93/10 (3 votes)