Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Beastwars - ST (album review)

Beastwars is a 4 piece sludge / doom band from New Zealand whose self-titled debut originally came out May 9 2011 in their home territory.  So it's not technically a new album, but it was posted on Bandcamp September 11 so it's new someplace and it's new to me.  "Beastwars" scored huge locally, winning their country's best metal album award.  And it's not for lack of competition that they won.  This is a truly terrific album that blends various influences and genres seamlessly into something distinct and noteworthy.

Opener "Damn the Sky" sets the tone for what's to follow, building a riff into something monstrous by upping the ante along the way.  Vocalist Matt Hyde goes from lazy mumbling to Matt Pike-esque screeching, a technique revisited throughout the album to match or set the mood of the music perfectly.

"Red God" and "Damn the Sky" are definite sludge-y highlights.  "Cthulhu" shows a slightly different side of the band with its understated accompaniment to lyrics that are at times buzzed rather than sung, recalling H.P. Lovecraft's story 'The Whisperer in Darkness' (fucking read it!).  "Mihi" is a slow-building potential sleeper hit.

"Empire" is a very strong album closer, bringing all previously touched upon elements to a final confident musical statement..

This may be the best Kiwi music I've heard since Fourmyula.

Reminds me of: High on Fire, (early) Metallica, -(16)-

My Rating: 4/5

Genre: Sludge, Doom Metal, Rock, Stoner

Release Date: September 11, 2012

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Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Rafting down the ditch in a poorly patched-up dinghy.

A Better Review:
The Obelisk

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