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Beastlurker - Celestial Henchwhores Aflame

Celestial Henchwhores Aflame
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 November 2021, 8:14 AM

BEASTLURKER is an extreme metal band from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2017. "Celestial Henchwhores Aflame" is their full length debut; they also released an EP back in 2015. Considering their name and insane album title, I assumed I was going to experiences some sort of black or death metal musical force. Well, I did experience that but I also got so much more–this album is quite the ride and a beastly surprise.

The description I've see them called the most is black/death metal. That combination may do them justice but it doesn't paint the whole picture. This leans more towards black metal that is raw yet melodic with both death and classic heavy metal influences. In essence? One well written, surprisingly album. The title track opens the album and reveals the magic of their sound, which is the band letting the production work for them. This particular track is demonical and goes hard—–the production gives it that much needed raw feel the song needs to be as effective as it is. This song is definitely more raw, black metal oriented but there is some sick groove throughout. The drums are crisp, despite the speed in which they play. Around the 3:05 mark, melody casts off the riffs before the song goes into a more traditional metal vibe but the abrasive vocals keep everything ground into firm extreme metal territory.

"Muted Vociferations Hemorrhaging from a Cesspit of Condemnation," begins with hushed, whispered vocals and a static build up. The song builds up nicely with a organic flow. The riffs themselves are much more melodic, which allows the bass to shine through. At the 3:57 mark, the song becomes vicious as a cascade of bass and hammering drums falls heavy on the atmosphere.  Soon after the band switches gears and grooves its way back around.  At this point, is clear the band has crafted a mighty fine ability to weave in and out of their blackened roots while still being underground and necro as hell.  "Bellows of Infernal Bliss," is sandwiched in between two short instrumentals: "Trocar," and "Ligature."  I normally have a lot of issues with these types of tracks because most bands don't use them correctly. However, in this album’s case, they both fit the mood of the music and although they don't bend or segue into "Bellows,…" the three tracks definitely go great together.

As the NWOBHM style "Trocar" winds down, "Bellows…" continues their melodic approach before the bass gets thick as mud and their r a power returns. Towards the end, a harrowing scream kicks off a surprisingly emotional guitar solo before the song fades out with ambient tones. "Ligature," begins with its own odd sounds and provides a unique respite from the carnage. "Pawns Of The Fetid King" is one of those songs that is so beastly it sounds like some kind of monster that was starved and finally released from its chains to kill. The drums and bass in particular stand out, a chaotic manifest going side by side with the guitars that go from blackened bile to good ol heavy metal.

"Noctivagant Wisdom," echoes the first track with its focus on raw, primal power.  The song grows faster and sicker as it progresses but doesn't forget to throw in catchy riffs that bang the head. All in all, BEASTLURKER is a monstrous yet adventurous black metal album that mixes up the formula, going against the grain while destroying it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Celestial Henchwhores Aflame
2. The Apex Sadis
3. Muted Vociferations Hemorrhaging from a Cesspit of Condemnation
4. Trocar
5. Bellows of Infernal Bliss
6. Ligature
7. Pygmalion Archetypal Decasia
8. Pseudorosicrucian
9. Pawns of the Fetid King
10. Noctivagant Wisdom
S. Boersma -Bass
M. Maggio - Drums, Vocals
J. Geist - Guitars
Record Label: Godz Ov War Productions


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Edited 07 December 2022

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