Wednesday, 9 March 2016

BEASTWARS - The Death Of All Things (Album Review)


Release date: April 22nd 2016. Label: Independent . Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Death Of All Things – Tracklisting

1. Call To The Mountain 5:25
2. Devils Of Last Night 5:21
3. Some Sell Their Souls 4:22
4. Witches 4:03
5. Black Days 4:04
6. Holy Man 5:10
7. Disappear 4:00
8. The Devil Took Her 2:22
9. The Death Of All Things 4:03

Band Members:

Matt Hyde – Vocals
Clayton Anderson – Guitars
James Woods – Bass
Nathan Hickery – Drums

Review:

They say that music has the ability to break down boundaries, move mountains and bring people closer together. Point in case with BEASTWARS, as they literally set the Earth’s tectonic plates in motion to make the mountains crumble, bringing down entire ridges and rattling the Earth’s core to create tsunamis of dark waves filled to the crest with sonic despair and utterly bleakness. These tectonic induced waves flushes over the listener with surges of the blackest and most oppressive sludge trapping everything deep in a strong current moving you towards the distant shores of New Zealand, where seemingly the epicentre of all things sludgy and aggressive .

It is now more than 3 years ago that I first encountered the brute force put forth by the four Southern hemispherians in BEASTWARS and with every new output they have never seize to amaze demanding every bit of attention and nerve you can muster. Because only the brave dares to wander in the shadows of lead singer Matt Hyde’s massive voice that boasts all kinds of eeriness and anger making you question whether he has already lost his mind in the attempt to channel his inner frustrations to your extemporary ears. Such a unique, strong, varied and emotional voice is rare in the hardened corner of the rock/metal world, and there is no denying that Matt is a cardinal element in the BEASTWARS sound.

But let’s not forget the rest of the band as every member of this beast equally contribute to the wars at play and all take a crucial part on the battlefield. BEASTWARS is the sonic equivalent to a captivation at the centre of the Earth’s core as layers of molten lava stream above you. Submerging you in the hottest of hell-fires all the while the planetary weight threatens to crush your body and shatter your bones. At the core of BEASTWARS are mountain-sized iron-casted riffs, fuzzed-beyond compare bass-lines and drums heavier than a thousand lorries loaded to the brink loaded with lead that will obliterate everything that crosses this evil-hearted natural calamity.

What strikes me regarding the musical direction on ‘The Death Of All Things’ is that it appears to be treading down a slightly less aggressive path in favour of a more diverse and at times a lighter take on things. Don't get me wrong, nothing has turned poppy or less sinister. But whereas the first two records (‘Beastwars’, 2011 and ‘Blood Becomes Fire’, 2013) where straight up battering and dense as hell, ‘The Death Of All Things’ mixes it all more up, drawing from both light and darkness, quite/loud dynamics giving the new album a wider range, more melodic features and breathing space.

It is pointless to highlight individual tracks or parts on the album as each song has its own strengths and elements that makes it shine. All Killer and No Filler. On ‘The Death Of All Things’ the whole of the album yields far more than the sum of the individual tracks. The 9 songs combined constitute the perfect swansong to our mortal being and there is no point in deciphering this. Instead, lean back take it in, and flow with it down the tar-black stream to the caverns of the underworld.

The Death Of All Things’ is truly a great album, and I will go as far as to state that this is the best material to have come out of the BEASTWARS camp since their formation nearly 10 years ago. The album is a grower and perhaps not as immediate a blow to the head as for instance ‘Blood Becomes Fire’, but with multiple listens, each song reveals new layers, nuances in the guitar tones, the bass and drums interplay and the emotions in Mr. Hyde’s voice. Like the peeling layers on a half-decayed, part-rotten, foul-smelling onion, the songs slowly reveal an even uglier side underneath displaying apocalyptic visions of humanity’s downfall. A world of political, economic and emotive ruin.

This could be the breakthrough album for BEASTWARS and a gateway to a wider recognition beyond the hardcore sludge/doom/stoner scene.

So are we talking a break-up album more than a breakthrough? Bearing the amply titled “The Death Of All Things” in mind it hints more of the former and rumours have already started floating around the Interwebs about an imminent halt of the beast. This has to be a hoax as every release to date by BEASTWARS have been a testimony to the true soul of sludgy stoner rock. So if the mere survival of this phenomenal band lies in the reception, by critics and fans alike, of this their third album, I for one hope it will make a victorious walk straight to the holy hell halls of rock, applauded by hundreds of hands. This album ought to secure them a much-deserved appreciation so they stand with the standing ovations ringing in their ears and claim their rightful place on the mighty throne of sludge.

This is an album and a band that is not to be missed for any self-proclaimed fan of sludge or stoner rock. Obey the riff! Hail Beastwars and hail to the death of all things! Ultimately, we all have to vanish in the end…. But before we do, support BEASTWARS, buy 'The Death Of All Things’ when it drops on vinyl and digital in April. Redeem your ticket to witness the play of a titan-sized beast, attend an epic swansong, then lie down and sleep peacefully forever. Knowing you have laid ears on the best sludge band that ever walked the hardened crust of our God-forsaken Earth, if after all they should decide to call it quits.

R.iffs I.n P.erfection

Words by Niels Fuzz Bartholdy

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. The Death Of All Things will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl directly via the band from April 22nd 2016.

Buy vinyl and merch from www.obeytheriff.com 
Pre orders begin 3pm EST Thursday 10th March 
9pm GMT Thursday 10th March 
9am NZ time Friday 11th March

Check out the recent interview with Clayton from BEASTWARS here.

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