Monday, 1 October 2012

Bastard Of The Skies - 'Tarnation' (Album Review)


By: Richard Maw
  
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 1/10/2012
Label: Future Noise


 
This album will evoke feelings of being kept in a very small, dark space knowing that at some point you will be pulled out to be involved in something very unpleasant indeed. That or it will make you feel like doing the same to someone else.  Highly recommended sludge with unseen twists and turns. Support them.


‘Tarnation’ CD//DD track Listing

1). Drug Monarch
2). A Punch in the Fucking Lungs
3). (Roasted in the Depths of the) Sloar
4). Bastard Sabbath
5). Tarnation
6). Repugnance
7). Bookatee Willalee
8). Locklear
9). Snapmare
10). What Are You Looking at Dicknose?


Bastard of the Skies is:

Matt Richardson | Guitar/Vocals
Rob Beesley | Guitar
Claire Horrocks | Bass
Matt Aldred | Drums

The Review

I must admit that I had never heard Bastard of the Skies until listening to this album. Let me tell you; I wish I had heard of them sooner! “Tarnation” is a beast, no doubt about it. There is a lot of depth within the ten tracks on offer here. The title fits the record well, being as the music contained therein is thick, fluid and very, very dark!

 Things kick off with ‘Drug Monarch’ and BOTS take the listener on a journey that begins with a groove ringing out and a fine use of instrumental dynamics. The vocals come through nice and clear with a throaty Matt Pike quality to them. The bass work underpins the whole thing effectively and often injects melody here and there when you least expect it.  Dynamics are used well in the second (and first standout!) track ‘A Punch In The Fucking Lungs’. The spoken vocal is plain sinister, while the sandpaper roar that follows creates a very claustrophobic feel that is a trademark of the record. The stop start riffs made me think of Helmet, perhaps oddly, while The Melvins influence can be heard elsewhere. The tension continues to build through ‘(Roasted in the depths of the) Sloar’. I love the way the band rings the changes over the seven and a half minutes- a sense of melancholy rather than anger seeps through the running time and this gives the album an extra dimension that lifts it beyond more straightforward sludge releases.

A special mention must go to Matt Aldred on drums as he makes excellent use of his kit throughout- and often lifts the tracks on offer with nifty tom, splash and china usage- but never forsakes the groove.  The brutal sludge continues through the album's mid-point. The bass tone alone makes the instrumental title track a nice bridge to the second half of the record.

The grooves on display through ‘Repugnance’,Bookatee Willalee’ and ‘Locklear’ are very powerful indeed and give the listener a sense that the record is building towards something with unstoppable momentum. The pounding drums that propel ‘Snapmare’ are the final stepping stone to the superb (and superbly titled) ‘What Are You Looking At Dicknose’. The ten and a half minutes plus delivers the highpoint of the record and the track that the second half has built towards artfully. High and low vocals are traded as a more expansive sound takes over. The melody on display is subtle and does not take away from the sheer negativity that is conjured up. The snarled vocal towards the end is the poisonous icing on the cake. 


This album will evoke feelings of being kept in a very small, dark space knowing that at some point you will be pulled out to be involved in something very unpleasant indeed. That or it will make you feel like doing the same to someone else.  Highly recommended sludge with unseen twists and turns. Support them.



Band info: Bandcamp | Store | Facebook

No comments: