Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beastwars Review

This New Zealand based four-piece doom and sludge metal band has released two albums since May, 2011, the self-titled Beastwars and the followup Blood Becomes Fire.

Inspired by apocalyptic visions of a not to distant future, Beastwars commands a masterful awareness of "heavy" fusion music. Catchy old school rock and punk grooves meld with ultra heavy blues metal styled riffing. The vocal delivery is raw and impassioned, which really helps in capturing the primal feel that the band is going for. The songwriting demonstrates signs of influence from alternative music of the 90's as well as a suggested influence from Black Sabbath, showing adept diversity in composition techniques. From the debut album, Iron Wolf is a good example of these characteristics as the song leans at times more towards a somber ballad then builds rhythmically later on. The album opener, Damn The Sky, however throws the listeners into a powerful guttural chug that sets a clear tone for the entire work. Cthulhu is perhaps the most developed piece on this album, as Beastwars begins to really show their progressive and atmospheric tendencies that they explore further in their second release. Though we should not ignore the devastating album closer, Empire, which emphatically states that Beastwars will be back from more.

Picking up where they left off, Blood Becomes Fire opens with Dune, another powerful guttural song that chugs along and provokes constant movement from the listener. The lyrics "shake your soul" become audible at the end of the track, implying what is in store for the journey that their music is taking both themselves and the audience on. It feels as if on this album that Beastwars had a lot more room to flex their muscles, musically speaking, thus creating more composed and dynamic songs that hint towards post-rock/metal tendencies while retaining their inclination towards producing primordial ooze. With this we are able to witness a truly monolithic display of emotion and contemplation. A contemplation ever hinting towards physical deletion. Realms throws the listener into a primal cathartic sway with half whispered vocals weaving a narrative around the listener about the state of human existence, while growing again into that familiar shamanic influenced half shout, half blues rock wailing vocal tone. The following track, Riverman, again demonstrates Beastwars depth of songwriting and personality by building a thought provoking blues and jazz flavored verse into explosively pulverizing chorus waves. Caul of Time is perhaps the track that best acts as a microcosm for describing what Beastwars is about, a sincere proclamation of end times as seen in the signs with a groove that cannot be denied. Blood Becomes Fire continues on in an epic fashion culminating with the shoegaze fueled dissonance of The Sleeper, perhaps Beastwars most beautiful, uplifting, and articulate song; beckoning the soul to awaken.

Noctivagant - The Sleep of Reason

The Sleep of Reason is an 8 track EP released in 2013 by the Russian atmospheric black metal duo, Noctivagant.

This is a cold yet elegant album lush with hypnotic and melodic layering. Noctivagant pay as much attention to ambiance and atmosphere as they do to slowly and carefully moving their isolation and despair driven compositions progressively along. A soothing sadness pervades The Sleep of Reason, one that seeps into the listeners being and provides an escape to another world, a world of desolate frost covered beauty.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

people-eaters - Disincarnate

Disincarnate is the 8 track EP by the ritual ambient project, people-eaters.

This album takes place on the peripherals of the senses. It tantalizes with a disturbed presence and undulation that provokes visions of things some may find better left unseen. Listen in the dark, with headphones.