Beastmilk – Use Your Deluge EP
Grab a glass and fill ‘er up with whatever fluids it is these guys are offering up! Sounds gross, but deep down you love it. I had never heard of Beastmilk until receiving a digital copy of their Use Your Deluge EP. I still don’t know much about them. They aren’t an easy band to dig up info on. Through the shroud of mystery, I do know they hail from Finland and play a style of music befitting of the label “apocalyptic post-punk.”
Beastmilk reminds me of Christian Death and other similar bands of an oddly upbeat gloomy nature. Use Your Deluge kicks off with “Void Mother,” a death rocker that rides heavy monotonous beats and fuzzed out guitar melodies. The infectious “Children Of The Atom Bomb” is up next, and it picks up the tempo a bit while vocalist Kvohst chants above the steady rhythmic pulsing pulling you into their dark trance. My personal favorite “Forever Animal” follows similar fashion proving itself to be a high point of the EP.
Things round out with “Red Majesty,” a song about the fall of the Soviet Union. Much like their influences, Beastmilk’s subject matter comes from twenty to thirty years ago. It’s only fitting and makes perfect sense once you hear their music though. The only disappointing thing here is that there’s only four songs. It left me wanting more, and I’m definitely ready to see what these guys can do on a full-length album.
Serenity Broken – Commercial Suicide
The most generic radio rock not yet on the radio! Judging from Commercial Suicide the Athenians in Broken Serenity are not ready for battle. They have made it their mission to resurrect grunge. Something no one should even be thinking about doing let alone actually undertaking. I generally try to stay as positive as possible in reviews, but damn an album like this makes it so hard. Just as hard as it was to listen to it more than once. To call the twelve songs on it “slow burning” would be an overstatement. On each one I kept thinking these guys were just holding back to create some epic buildup then unleash hell. Never happened.
Serenity Broken is like someone took all the worst parts of Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack, and Alice In Chains and threw them in a blender with some Nirvana. Perhaps Commercial Suicide could’ve survived in the mid-nineties, but I don’t see many people even giving it a second glance in 2012. Worst of all, the songs on it wander around to the four and five minute marks with no good reason whatsoever. That’s bad when halfway through the very first song I was already zoning out and lost in thoughts that were so far removed from Serenity Broken it’s not even funny. Such was a stupor I could never quite be pulled from while wasting precious time listening to this album.
I should’ve know what I was getting into just from the band name, album title, and cover art. They scream mediocrity. Another grim omen was the titles of the songs. ”Tattooed Heart,” “Beat It Outta Me, and “Sweet Mistake” should be enough to give you a good idea. Save for a few scattered whisper screams scattered throughout the album and a couple of fleeting mildly interesting beats and melodies this album has no redeeming qualities. I can’t see recommending this to anyone unless they’re contemplating their own form of suicide.
Mass Burial – Of Carrion And Pestilence
Listening to Mass Burial it’s easy to mistake them for an old school crust laden Swedish death metal band. Surprisingly enough, they call Spain their home. Regardless of where they hail from they have got the Swedish death metal style down. They throw in a touch of blackened thrash just for good measure. From the killer old school black and white cover artwork to the eleven pummeling tracks on Of Carrion And Pestilence, Mass Burial really bring their A game. They’ve had plenty of time to perfect it seeing as they formed in 2002, and this is only their debut album.
The title track starts things off by showing off a little bit of everything this band can do. There’s ample amounts of top-notch guitar work and tight relentless drumming as the furnace throat vocals lead the charge. There’s even an odd out of left field melodic moment that seems to fit in perfectly and keep things from stagnating early on. ”Intense Genital Punishment”(lovely name, right?) and “When Fury Became Blood” roar through at punishing breakneck paces that show Mass Burial can thrash and groove with the best of ‘em. The track that shares the band’s namesake is one of my favorites. It has a dark, commanding tone as you’re guided through a gore-filled wasteland. Every bit of Of Carrion And Pestilence is great from start to finish. Just don’t make us wait ten years for another album, guys!
Hounds Of Hasselvander – Ninth Hour
Joe Hasselvander has been around the metal scene for quite a while and has worked with some huge acts in his time. For me, most notably Raven and Blue Cheer. He’s also done time in UDO and Pentagram. So, it really goes without saying that he’s a bit of a rock icon and legend. Hounds Of Hasselvander is a doom solo project from Hasselvander. He handles all of the guitar, drum, and vocal duties on the album. Ninth Hour churns through seven dark hymns at a slow rhythmic burn that incorporate doom elements and even a little bit of blues rock vibes.
“Ninth Hour” is the opening track, and, oh, what a massive mound of doom it is. It weighs in at just over twelve minutes and proves Hasselvander to be a mastermind of song structure. It’s a fine example of just how much time and effort he put into this project as each note practically bleeds through your speakers. ”Heavier Than Thou” is little cheesy in the lyrics department, “I don’t want to be your friend/ I just want to blow your house down/ Everyone who knows me/ Knows I am../ Heavier than thou!,” but the cool blues rock tones make that easy to overlook. Also, how could you not enjoy that distinct cantankerous old man yell when Hasselvander says “Heavier than thou?” The rest of the album maintains the slow, thoughtful pace set forth at the start while maintaining heaviness through and through. There honestly isn’t a genuinely bad song to be had here.
While Ninth Hour may not be the absolute best thing Joe Hasselvander has ever put out in his musical career, it is a damn fine album from start to finish. It’s one that does his legacy justice.