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Baest - Venenum Award winner

by Chris Hawkins at 23 September 2019, 6:05 PM

BAEST have to be one of the hardest working bands in the Metal underground.  Hot off the heels of last year’s massively heavy and brutal full-length, “Danse Macabre,” for Century Media, the band have returned quickly with the stout “Venenum” determined to keep their name fresh on the lips of press and fans alike.  Anyone expecting the band to have released a rushed, quickly thrown together product will be terribly wrong for the band have not sacrificed an ounce of quality pumping this album full of premium riffs and tremendous arrangements rivaling the heavyweights of Death Metal.

The band hails from Denmark and in their native tongue, their name translates to beast.  There could simply be no more appropriate name for the band.  Combining their love for true old school Death Metal and leaning heavily on the Stockholm scene, the band have forged a sound that still sound fresh blazing new trails within that context.

Upon first beginning to listen to the album, it is as if no one is invited to a 2019 Riff Fest.  Seriously, though, this album is all killer and no filler.  “Vitriol Lament” kicks things off and is a crushing opener with an exposition of the band’s most primal side.  This is followed by “Gula,” a methodically determined and slow track.  It is like BAEST’s take on the MORBID ANGEL classic, “Where the Slime Live,” brutally plodding through a crisp, articulate, and incisive dredge.

What truly aids to the success of this album is its top-notch production.  It is as deadly and pulverizing as Death Metal can be.  The guitar tone is very HM-2 infused yet a perfect blend of chainsaw and clarity with ample girth.  The rhythm section is tightly locked in while the vocals provide a crystalline clarity to their dry lung approach.  Hearing such clear and clean production causes one to wonder what some of the genre’s classic albums would sound like with a similar mix.

Coming in fourth is the title track which has a very “Left Hand Path” feel with those dark, eerie guitar melodies that sound like they were lifted from a horror movie soundtrack.  The track, though clearly inspired by ENTOMBED, is done with pure respect and has an original sense of ingenuity as it is done with BAEST’s own spin.  “Heresy,” the sixth track, has another slower approach with a strong groove.  The band sounds simply lethal when expounding on a groove with such subtle yet deadly guitar flourishes.  Things do speed up adding diversity to the song, and the leads are nothing short of mind blowing, the kind that actually take the listener somewhere else bereft of non-essential noodling.  With the final track, BAEST shows just how daring they are with a tried and true cover of BOLT THROWER’s “No Guts No Glory”.  It takes testicles the size of melons to cover BOLT THROWER but somehow, the band pull it off as they even go to the trouble of sculpting their guitar tone to more closely resemble the British masters, a true triumph.

Venenum” is truly an achievement.  BAEST have released ten quality tracks to form a very listenable, highly motivating album of Death Metal precision.  With such an achievement, the band have effectively raised the bar for other bands who choose to glorify the high times of Death Metal’s past.  This is sure to be on year’s best lists across the globe.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. Vitriol Lament
2. Gula
3. Nihil
4. Venenum
5. Styx
6. Heresy
7. As Above, So Below
8. Sodomize
9. Empty Throne
10. No Guts No Glory
Mattias Melchiorsen - Bass
Sebastian Abildsten – Drums
Lasse Revsbech - Guitars
Svend Karlsson – Guitars
Simon Olsen – Vocals
Record Label: Century Media Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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