Monday, 5 June 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Beastmaker - "Inside The Skull"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 19/05/2017
Label: Rise Above Records

 

It's impressive that, only a year and a bit after their debut, Beastmaker have taken their sound and improved upon it with sharper song writing and an impressive grasp of what makes music of the trad doom genre tick.


“Inside The Skull” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Evil One
2. Heaven To Hell
3. Now Howls The Beast
4. Of Gods Creation
5. Give Me A Sign
6 Nature Of The Damned
7. Psychic Visions
8. Inside The Skull
9. Night Bird
10. Sick Sick Demon

The Review:

One year after “Lusus Naturae”, California's Beastmaker return for more retro true doom. This time around, they have improved on all elements present on their debut. Mixing Pentagram, Sabbath, Danzig and a healthy dose of classic horror appreciation the band have struck on a winning formula.

Once again, the sound is raw and live sounding; the bass clanks, the drums pound and clatter and the vocals are a pleasing mixture of melodic and sinister. Right off the bat, you know what the record will be like: riffs, hooks and macabre atmosphere aplenty. “Evil One” sounds as the title implies (great solo too), “Heaven To Hell” is menacing and weighty in equal measure.

The album highlight for me is “Now Howls The Beast”, replete with werewolf atmospherics and a riff that Victor Griffin himself would be very proud of! It's impressive that, only a year and a bit after their debut, Beastmaker have taken their sound and improved upon it with sharper song writing and an impressive grasp of what makes music of the trad doom genre tick.

On a general level, there is nothing to pin-point as a misstep on this album; it's uniformly heavy, sharply written and really quite catchy in places. No twenty minute drone work outs here: this is doom rock in the vein of all acts mentioned above. To make a lazy comparison, this is perhaps an American equivalent (by dint of geography, but not in total sound) of Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. The two bands plough a similar furrow and will appeal to a similar set of fans, I suspect.

Whether it be the plodding drama of “Nature of The Damned” or the swing of “Psychic Visions”, the power trio work as a tight unit and keep things stripped down and raw- exactly as it should be. With the title track promising nine eternities in doom and the riffs making good on that promise, the album goes into the closing straight very strongly. Taking a nod from Sabbath by not going overboard on album length has allowed the band to turn in a very strong set of focused songs- all nicely uniform in terms of sound and content.

The short, sharp and sinister “Sick Sick Demon” is a very strong finish to a very strong album. If you have any interest in Sabbath and/or Pentagram, then this album will be for you. It's gritty, great and even gruesome in parts. Their satanic majesties have returned.

“Inside The Skull” is available here




FFO: Black Sabbath, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, Pentagram, Orchid

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

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