BONEBAG – Noli Me Tangere

BONEBAG - Noli Me Tangere
  • 7/10
    BONEBAG - Noli Me Tangere - 7/10


Quixote Music
Release date: July 10, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

From the outskirts of Hard Rock comes Dutch band Bonebag. Having been around for half a decade, they gained followers through several self-produced CDs, of which the best tracks now make up the official debut album Noli Me Tangere. The title means “Don’t Touch Me,” which is what Jesus said to Maria after his resurrection. But, it would be wrong to conclude from that – and the strange crown of thorns worn by a tomato on the cover – that Bonebag have a religious message to convey. It seems the band is more focused on enigmatic lyrics of fun and silliness, which even allow them to get away with lines like remember tasting good hot chocolate – everyone’s a winner baby everyone’s a winner baby, than’s no lie, or deeply emotional lyrics that won’t fit the general positive feeling of the album.

The four guys have one musician in their midst who is probably known to some Metal fans: Arno Menses is also the singer of German Prog institution Sieges Even. But, if anyone expects any similarities, you will be disappointed. Arno mostly only plays drums for Bonebag, as the main singer is Ronald Utens, who has a clear, melodic voice and absolutely earns his place at the microphone. Still, it seems a waste to put Arno Menses “only“ behind the drum kit.

Be that as it is, Noli Me Tangere does not need the comparison with Sieges Even. This band has their own sound and style, deeply rooted in Alternative Rock, which is audible in “Disgust“ or “Oliver Sudden,“ with hints of many other styles – maybe this is Progressive Grunge ’n’ Roll? In any way, it is very entertaining and surprises the listener with every track anew. In this regard, it is very Progressive when songs take a turn to the unexpected, without the overflowing elaboration of the traditional Prog Rock compositions, as every track is under five minutes long. That combined with a heavy, Grungy guitar builds the backbone of the songs, which have not much in common except a catchy chorus that builds the center of every track.

Apart from that, every song is its own musical universe, even with elements of Funk like in “Picture Perfect,“ a tiny The Police reminiscence as in “Lifeline,“ The Beatles feeling in “Positive,“ only to abduct you to strangeness with “Hmmm,“ a Rock ’n’ Roll/Punk hybrid under a Metal skin, before a mellow interlude with a female voice makes the song almost stop dead … just to be kick-started again fifteen seconds later — and all of this in just over three minutes.

This versatility is their strong point, but may also be a drawback as the album seems slightly erratic at first. Each song works fine, but for the whole album the listener has to pay attention to find the fine elements hidden underneath, and the similarities that make all works connect. Also, in this regard, Bonebag are Progressive: music from the head for the head, the exact antithesis of dance floor and headbanging.

As it is difficult to describe, it is recommended that interested readers check out Bonebag’s Myspace site where they stream samples of the opening track “Disgust“ and the final song, “A Word Of Appreciation.“


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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