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The Beast Of Nod – Multiversal

The Beast Of Nod
by Santiago Puyol at 30 March 2021, 10:53 AM

Intergalatic Death Metal might be just another one of the endless, insanely diverse and complicated metal sub-subgenres, but if there’s a band that lives up to the moniker that’s Boston-based band THE BEAST OF NOD. "Multiversal" is their sophomore full-length, follow-up to 2018’s debut album "Vampira: Disciple Of Chaos". The band makes Technical and Progressive Death Metal that soars to the skies and beyond the atmosphere with strong guitar melodies and the help of intricate synth and electronic textures.

Opener "Flight Of The Quetzalcoatlus" has a melodramatic atmosphere, weaving together spidery guitar lines and interesting electronic textures. The contrast between the aggressive vocals of Paul Buckley and the crisp instrumentation and production adds a nice feel to it, something that remains for most of the album. It is a song that evokes a sense of soaring the skies or even taking off in a spaceship, which is quite fitting. A shapeshifting track that rarely lets the energy go down but keeps on building momentum.

The rest of the first half follows a similar formula. "Contemporary Calamity" has its synths and guitars in seemingly constant fight for the spotlight, which creates an inner sense of tension. Everyone in the band is in great shape, especially Dr. Gore with his nasty shredding. Buckley’s harsh vocals show considerable range, moving between high-pitched shrieks and deep unintelligible growls, while both Brendan Burdick and Lord Marco Pitruzzella lay down a strong rhythmic foundation and remain flexible enough to adapt to time signature and tempo shifts.

Filled with melodrama, "Intergalactic War!" screams, well, war. Violent rampages of sound blast through your ears, piercingly heavy. Yet there are brief moments of vulnerability and introspection, soft beats necessary to tell the whole story, the adrenaline pumping on the more vicious moments and the contemplation of the horrors of a lived war. The music tells the story as much as the lyrics might.

"Call Of The Squirrel" closes of the first half of the album on a theatrical note. Several bits here reminded me a lot of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, especially the QUEEN-esque, classically-inspired bits of guitar playing. Conscious or not, QUEEN influences also pop-up on the piano playing. Another dense track that ends on a pretty straightforward (by Prog and Death Metal standards), metal banger note.

"Unleashing Chaos" and "The Plan For Multiversal Creation" introduces the listener to a whole other side of the band, signaling the change in mood and tone for the second half of the album. "Unleashing Chaos" is nasty and imbued in Gothic, Symphonic and Industrial sounds, quite on the forefront for the whole first minute. The effects added to the drums make them quite noisy and wet, giving them a dazzling mechanical feel. Meanwhile, "The Plan For Multiversal Creation" ramps up the Gothic and Symphonic elements, even through the use of a choir at some points. There are some really nice softer sections here, piano-driven and with heavy use of synth orchestrations.

The synth-led intro (and the synth work in general) of "Guardians Of The Multiverse" sounds straight out of a Donkey Kong Country soundtrack, even if it is not the case, something about the songwriting evokes David Wise’s work for that game series. "The Latent Threat" follows, sounding closer to the more traditional Prog Death Metal of the first half. Still, it manages to include some really cool, softer jazzy sections here and there, in very CHON-esque way, but with a heavier sound.

Closer "ShRedding Of The Cosmos" is a melodramatic, powerful finale that lives up to its name, with tons of gorgeous shredding, nasty basslines and chaotic drumming. Being the longest song of the record, it makes for an epic closing statement. The album ends with a complete bang, managing to balance the more theatrical, Gothic-tingle sounds of the second half with the more formulaic (not in a bad sense) Progressive Death Metal of the first half.

Overall, "Multiversal" is a strong sophomore effort by THE BEAST OF NOD, having a strong foundation in skillful musicianship and solid songwriting. It might lack hooks, but that is beside the point with a band like this, more focused on delivering a concept and a story. The mixing is crisp and lets almost every instrument to be clearly heard, even if things get a little muddied on the lower end. I’ll always advocate for bass to be more clearly audible, and this album is no exception. Still, a minor nitpick from me. If you are looking for a solid Progressive Death Metal album with a sci-fi flair and just a little bit of melodrama, this is more than a safe bet for you.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Flight Of The Quetzalcoatlus
2. Contemporary Calamity
3. Intergalactic War!
4. Call Of The Squirrel
5. Unleashing Chaos
6. The Plan For Multiversal Creation
7. Guardians Of The Multiverse
8. The Latent Threat
9. ShRedding Of The Cosmos
Paul Buckley – Lyrics and Vocals
Dr. Gore – Guitars and Composition
Brendan Burdick – Bass Guitars
Lord Marco Pitruzzella – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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