The Death Of All Things by Beastwars
This is the all-important third album for this four piece from Wellington NZ. I’ve been a fan since I first heard Damn the Sky, and having reviewed the prior two albums, had my hand up early for this one.
- Call to the mountain - This song started off a little slow but when they hit that stomping, contagious chorus I knew they were still at the top of their game. Beastwars have made a fine art out of getting jarring changes to sound seamless and addictive. With the kind of riffs that endure multiple listenings, they take us to a monster wah drenched solo for good measure. At five and a half minutes, it nearly seems too short. An easy favourite and could not pick a better opener
- Devils of last night - The sludgiest of distorted basses opens this song. Beastwars make clever use of volume and intensity on this. The bass heavy breakdown that rebuilds the track is a stand out before closing to an abrupt stop.
- Some sell their souls - A softer intro until the rhythm section power into the very memorable verses. They continue to demonstrate their compositional talent, taking the song someplace new and relevant around that three minute mark, where so many musicians seem to run short of worthwhile things to say. This adds that deeper listenability to an album, rather than just a few quick listens to the tracks you cherry pick to keep.
- Witches – A noticeably slower pace. There’s a few surprises on this album. This is a very different sound that demonstrates how they are capable of seducing you with their subtlety. I really like what the guitarist is doing in the Outro for this in the "shadows" part.
- Black days – The mark of the halfway point and this track begins with a definitive increase of tempo from “Witches”. His gravelly vocals combine with the pumping bass particularly well on this track
- Holy Man – This song demonstrates more of a rock feel, and works just fine.
- Disappear - This has a BIG opening that is making my speakers seriously hum (or that could be the volume I’m playing this at...). They are making interesting use of matching the vocals to the guitar part in the verses, not so easy to do. Also one of my faves.
- The Devil took her – Now this is just a totally unexpected, beautiful acoustic composition with some flute and vocals. These guys are not your average sludge band. This develops pleasantly and showcases yet another element of their capacity. The devil took her evokes images of being beside some gentle river... perhaps with some hellfire crackling in the background for ambience.
- The death of all things – The critical title track. The bass slithers in the background as the guitar paints some refined textures over the top. These guys all deliver on this track.
It’s generally a pretty no nonsense affair with Beastwars, who have thus far shown to be as consistent as an ACDC album (though Axl may make me eat my words later). There’s no silly effects, no sub-par performances, just a refined piece of sludge riff-mastery, though admittedly there were a few musical surprises on this one. Big Thumbs up.
Reviewed by Matt
The Death Of All Things has been released
Beastwars are from New Zealand.