Tuesday 10 December 2013

Review: Beastmilk – 'Climax'


Apocalyptic death rockers have a sound based in the alienation of early UK post-punk, mixed with the cobweb covered rawness of the L.A. death rock scene, and iced with the cold atmosphere of black metal. The result is something akin to throwing Joy Division, Killing Joke, Christian Death and Sonic Youth in a blender with a couple of tabs of acid and a lot of dry ice.

Musically the band focus heavily on jangling guitars, strong bass groves, heavy drums while frontman Kvohst (DHG, <Code>, Hexvessel) drives the songs foreword with his unmistakeably mournful reverb drenched vocals.

Songs like 'Death Reflects Us', 'The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls', 'Nuclear Winter' and 'Surf The Apocalypse' are wonderfully visceral with their unrelenting pace, infectious groove and apocalyptic themes. Their the kind of songs you cant help but throw yourself around, sing-a-long and just groove to.
While the likes of 'Ghost Out Of Focus' and 'Strange Attractors', with their slower tempo and big choruses – and in the case of 'Strange Attractors', the use of feminine vocals – gives the album a heavy gothic leaning.

Even though the production on this album has a definite rough, early 80's vibe to it with all the reverb and hissing feedback, it isn't limited by it. In fact this is one of those occasions where the old school style enhances the apocalyptic atmosphere the band are going for. The echoing vocals sound as if they were recorded in a cavernous nuclear bunker, while the hiss sounds like fallout saturation on an analogue tape. It's subtle but works well and doesn't detract from the quality of the music with each instrument still sounding fresh and distinct in the mix.

This full-length début is a strong step for the band that they will no doubt capitalise on. 'Climax' has a distinct flavour that stands out from a lot of the modern post-punk crowd and it's going to be interesting to see how the band develop their style and approach on future albums.

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