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Beastwars - Beastwars & Blood Becomes Fire (Reissue)

Beastwars
Beastwars & Blood Becomes Fire (Reissue)
by Tom Colyer at 07 August 2014, 11:10 PM

BEASTWARS are a band that combine the best of multiple worlds with a special kind of finesse that is akin to a near surgical hammer strike to the ankles intended to incapacitate the victim long enough to force them to watch as their beating heart is slowly wrenched from their chest.  With that rather poetic metaphor in mind, these New Zealand based musicians have managed to blend the best parts of Stoner Rock, Sludge and Doom Metal, Grunge and even found room to sprinkle a little Nu-Metal into the mix.  This may sound like a recipe for some kind of sludgy distorted mess without much sense of direction or melody but hear me out, it really is a fantastic concoction of sounds and BEASTWARS have a masterful way about them that keeps the ears wanting more.

This is a double album reissue, featuring both of their full length studio albums “Beastwars” and “Blood Becomes Fire”, both of which complement each other excellently and work together to make one incredibly long album.  We open with “Damn The Sky” which begins with a lazy guitar riff that is laden with doom and bong smoke before dropping into a bass rhythm that sounds eerily like a MARILYN MANSON song from the early 2000's.  Vocalist Matt Hyde starts of slowly, sounding like he has recently suffered a stroke.  It was at this point that I had begun to worry about this album and prepared myself for a mediocre release but they put ease to this fear with the vocals picking up and gaining a little bit of much needed ferocity and the guitars eventually breaking out into an all-out stoner riff that spits groove all over the place and changes the dynamic of the song completely.   This is pretty much the theme for both albums as they weave in and out of the various genres and influences that have been a part of their sound since they formed back in 2007.

These guys have been heralded as saviours of the New Zealand Metal scene and I can see why.  The music is infused with pure energy, you can tell that the instruments have been granted no mercy in the recording of these albums.  One of my favourite songs is “Cthulhu” not only because it is named after my favourite eater of worlds but also because the pace is so different to a lot of the other songs.  It is beckoned into existence with a singular guitar that is joined by a weirdly heavy handed drum beat and Matt Hyde's growling man voice singing about a long sea voyage with no end in sight.   Before you know it, the second guitar has joined the fray and it could well have been dragged up from the depths of the ocean and out of the suckered grasp of some unknown sea beast because it weeps a piercing tone over the top of the rest of the song, creating one of my new favourite ballads.

There is a good dose of everything sludgy and down-tempo with these guys, they have grit and balls, they have groove and soul and believe it or not some of the songs even have a damn sexy feel to them that gets the hips pumping in a most inappropriate way.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Beastwars:
1. Damn The Sky
2. Lake Of Fire
3. Mihi
4. Daggers
5. Call Out The Dead
6. Red God
7. Iron Wolf
8. Cthulhu
9. Empire

Blood Becomes Fire:
1. Dune
2. Imperium
3. Tower Of Skulls
4. Realms
5. Rivermen
6. Caul Of Time
7. Ruins
8. Blood Becomes Fire
9. Shadow King
10. The Sleeper
Lineup:
James Woods – Bass
Nathan Hickey – Drums
Clayton Anderson – Guitars
Matt Hyde – Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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