Monday, June 23, 2014
Beastwars - Blood Becomes Fire
My knowledge of music from New Zealand is very limited to say the least. What little I knew is that extreme trve kvlt black metal has a stronghold there and...that's just about it. Well, it was until Bossman Racer sent Beastwars my way. First glance at the covers of their two albums, 'Beastwars' and 'Blood Becomes Fire' brought to mind modern death metal but how wrong I was! The moment 'Blood Becomes Fire' came on a really good mix of sludge, doom and metal hits my eardrums. Totally sold on these Wellingtonians is an understatement as I bang my head bloody while losing control of myself to their brutal, dark and suggestive tunes.
The first spin of 'Blood Becomes Fire' caught me off guard and all I could do was listen and be mesmerized by what I heard. That's actually not a bad thing, in fact that's how it should be listening to a great album. However, if one is supposed to write a review then this causes a dilemma, how do you snap out of the spell Beastwars cast. Since the music is this enthralling I could just go with that and say "awesomely good, buy!". But that would be taking the easy way out, so by pure will-power I re-surface in the real world and this is what I found out.
A wide-brimmed palette full of apocalyptic visions and nightmares accompanied by a powerful soundtrack of doom, metal, Killing Joke, sludge and Mark Lanegan. A rather odd amalgamation one might think but it works so well. From the brutal onslaught of 'Caul Of Time' and 'Ruins' to the eeire, haunted and hypnotic tones of 'Realms' and the amazing 'The Sleeper', Beastwars have recorded a monster of an album. Not only that, they have also managed to create a truly one-of-a-kind style. Yes, a number of their influences are present and they spice things up but the impressive part is how elegantly and easily the band are doing their own thing. That alone is commendable, so when they defy genre rules and create something so great and unique as 'Blood Becomes Fire' everyone should stand up and take notice.
Apart from the songs I have already mentioned you should of course listen to all of them, however special attention should be given to three tracks. 'Imperium' is kind of slow and entrancing at first but quickly turns into something Neurosis wish they had written. 'Rivermen' is dark, brooding and doom-sludgy where singer Matt Hyde sounds like Mark Lanegan's deranged brother...beautiful! Finally, the title track, 'Blood Becomes Fire' sees Matt back as Lanegan's crazy brother while the drums and the bass guitars acts like a heartbeat throughout. It is a slow song but builds up gradually fueling anger and frustration and it's full of awesome riffs!
I want more surprises like Beastwars, that's what makes being a metalhead all worthwhile. Hearing a band like them is like a fountain of youth for me, taking me back to a time when I had just discovered heavy music and had a seemingly bottomless well to pick and choose from. Maybe I've become more cynical and less openminded the older I've gotten, regardless, a lot of the music from genres that I like is severely uninspiring and dull. So when a gang like Beastwars comes along music has a meaning again. Fantastic waveriders, fantastic that's all I have to say!