Adelaide thrashers Alium are relatively new to the Australian metal scene, having yet to play …
Reintroducing themselves to the world of sludge-ridden stoner noise following the near-death of vocalist Matt Hyde, Wellington four piece Beastwars have come roaring back with a sledgehammer assault here that gives little ground from the opening moments.
Like other albums born from pain, this one is not an easy listen. VI is slab after slab of huge, ugly riffs and Hyde’s caustic vocal delivering beat down after beat down. Where other bands will take a riff and ride it out, Beastwars pound them into submission.
Bludgeoning and intense, roughshod and uncomfortable, this is more than just a comeback for Beastwars.
Raise the Sword sounds like 40 miles of bad road, juddering and lurching across a barren wasteland as Hyde unveils his evil plans to the sound of the band unleashing a relentless battering; Wolves and Prey offers only a slight reprieve ahead of another howling attack and Storms of Mars sounds like exactly that, a whirlwind of furious guitar noise swirling around Hyde’s desperate screaming. In Omens, the album’s biggest catchy riff raises its head, driving the song toward a level of accessibility for a few moments before careering back into a scarred wilderness where few want to journey. After six rounds of punishment, The Traveller staggers bleary-eyed into the daylight, broken and punch-drunk, carried on a massive, slamming riff toward the slow-building denouement Like Dried Blood with its minor-key piano intro and sudden ending in feedback.
Bludgeoning and intense, roughshod and uncomfortable, this is more than just a comeback for Beastwars. It is a band reasserting itself as a formidable force, a band that’s been through hell and back and isn’t afraid to show everyone exactly what that’s like.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Storms of Mars, Omens, The Traveller
STICK THIS NEXT TO: High on Fire, Black Tusk, Crowbar