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Bear Mace – Butchering The Colossus

Bear Mace
Butchering The Colossus
by Anton Sanatov at 22 July 2017, 10:02 AM

Sometimes the beast just lets itself out…and that’s when life really begins.

Metal is truly a most benevolent gift to our society - and not just because of its many musical virtues. What Metal so generously offers every time you press that PLAY button is to take and bear upon its shoulders (like a tattooed Atlas) the creatures that inhabit the darkest clouds of our instinctual skies; and pet the jagged critters of your soul with those distorted chords. BEAR MACE’s brand of Metal is no different, and with their debut release, the American Death Metal outfit are looking to unleash their own share of beastly characters upon the world.

Now, based on the band’s moniker and the overall vibes of “Butchering The Collossus”, one might presently expect an overall meat-grinding experience upon tucking into this record; and whilst that may be so to an extent, this album is much more than the mindless carnage that it may suggest. At its core this is a hard, hearty Metal record that reaches beyond its foundational genre and aims to harvest a multitude influences to shape their sound.

The opener “Death of a Constellation” doesn’t rush into things, but instead bases the song’s flow around a slow, sludgy Hardcore riff that trades places with sped-up Punk blasts. The track’s Hardcore-inspired structure is later echoed in the tempo-alternating title track, which sees the band further explore a sound that aims to blend the said genre’s aesthetic with groovy shades of NWOAHM; strokes of which can also be heard in the tight, thrashy riffs of tracks like the LAMB OF GOD-esque “Cyclone of Shrapnel”.

As mentioned in regard to the latter track, there is a rather potent Thrash Metal (Bay Area school) presence that carries a lot of these tracks. The combination of taut riffs with Death Metallic chaos makes tracks like “Wheel of Despair” sound as accessible as OVERKILL and as menacing (well, almost) as CANNIBAL CORPSE - which may also be deemed as a clear influence on the band at hand. Tracks like “Leave Nothing Here Alive” also tend to lean more toward their Death Metal aesthetic whilst still maintaining a genuinely Metal accessibility with some sophisticated guitar leads. Although some grooves do get recycled by the time we approach “Anguirus the Destroyer”, the record remains surprisingly varied and entertaining.

With all that’s been said, “Butchering The Collossus” does have its drawbacks. The recording could most certainly benefit from finer production and the vocals of The Lord Devourer, whilst perhaps authentically, and even somewhat charismatically pernicious, sound like Randy Blythe on a very sad day; their awful placement in the mix also doesn’t help.

Overall – BEAR MACE have potential for devastation. “Butchering The Colossus” is a promising underground debut that doesn’t simply sit and wallow in a pit of anger, but claws it way out to unburden the masses from their demons - by devouring them to satisfy their own wretched appetites.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Death of a Constellation
2. Cyclone of Shrapnel
3, I Bleed for Vengeance
4. Butchering the Colossus
5. Leave Nothing Here Alive
6. Lord Devourer of the Dead
7. Wheel of Despair
8. Anguirus the Destroyer
Lineup:
Garry Napalm – Drums
Stevil Dead – Bass
Mike Cirrhosis – Guitar
Crossbow Death – Guitar
The Lord Devourer – Roar
Record Label: Gypsyblood Records
     


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