Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bestial Warlust - Vengeance War Till Death (1994)

Did you grow up a metalhead around a bunch of friends, family, lovers, and co-workers who didn't understand the genre of music you enjoyed? Were you constantly berated? Did your peers and parents ever ask you why you listened to that goddamn noise? Did people ever exclaim to you 'Music? That's not fucking music!' My friends, the band they were all referring to (specifically) was named Bestial Warlust, and they were a 5-man wrecking crew from Melbourne with handles like Damon Bloodstorm, Chris Corpsemolestor, Keith Destroyer, Joe Skullfucker, and my personal favorite, Markus Hellcunt. Up to this point, they had been dubbed Corpse Molestation and released a slew of demos, but Vengeance War Till Death was their debut album after the name change, and Gods what a fucking racket we had here.

Yes, Bestial Warlust would honour the negative stereotypes of their art and then go personally yank the spines out of every naysayer with their blasphemer, then rolling over their quivering, gelatinous corpses with a tank forged with the steel of Hell. If this sounds like a rousing recommendation for the album, well, it's not exactly. Musically, there is not much value aside from the ripping extremity, but to quote my favorite local gas station chain's slogan, 'It Kicks!' Vengeance War Till Death is a grinding, roiling mass of black metal hostility with barks and snarls and tinny start/stop drumming. The lyrics are absurd, like Venom taking a pair of shotguns and embarking on a pig hunt through the nine layers. If Paul Hogan took a bowie knife and then killed and skinned all humanity, before sitting down for a beer, and then the credits rolled, this would be playing over them.

The band's m.o. "Bestial Warlust" pours out of the speakers like the hellish cavalry that grace its cover art, a mass of flailing limbs that pick up guitars and grind the horrid fuck out of you as the drums play some pretty annoying, stop/start blasts and the guitars burst into shred leads and otherwise high velocity death metal rhythms. Bloodstorm almost sounds like the bully down the street invading your shitty grindcore band's practice and groaning on growling, but you are too afraid to say anything lest he kick your ass. "Dweller of the Bottomless Pit" begins and you ask yourself, 'haven't I just heard this song?' More or less, it strikes at the same relentless pace as the predecessor. Maybe the drums thunder a little. Maybe at 1:40 they bust out a pretty good death metal rhythm under some more of their shredding, which disappears into the thrusting mass. "Satanic" starts with some nice bells and doomy background rhythms, and then erupts into another charging, infernal rhythm, but for some reason I really enjoy the atmosphere created through this track. "Heathens" has another good old death rhythm, the bass menacing below with a pumping fervor, though it becomes repetitive before long.

Dancing orgastically in a form of possession
Draped in robes drinking the juice of vein
The chalice lies upon the ceremonial stone
Unfortunate soul hooked from the uterus

No, Bestial Warlust were not about to steal a literary award from Maya Angelou, but their vile, and often strange lyrics were a good match for their compositional tyranny. "Hammering Down the Law of the New Gods / Holocaust Wolves of the Apocalypse" is practically a poem unto its own song title, but the track itself is anything but beautiful, a slow crash and crawl that transforms into a more refined, driving force than most other pieces on the album. "Storming Vengeance" again breaks out all the stops to deliver a pretty firm ass splattering. It's like the band were slowly evolving through the album, writing better songs as they went, but throwing the entire process onto disc. Vengeance War Till Death ends with its most 'epic' length track, at six minutes, "At the Graveyard of God" opens with noisy, droning guitars and samples, then goes volcano with some shredding bewilderment and scathing, horrific black metal. Another of the better tracks.

What if Blood Duster and Mayhem were to form a Charles Manson cover band? Bestial Warlust would probably come over to their jamspace and kick their asses for sounding like pansies. This was a new elephant in the room for Australian metal...alright, not an elephant, but a behemoth, trampling everything in sight and setting a new standard for blasphemous extremity. I don't love the album, and I honestly don't even enjoy enough to listen without thoughts of harming myself. It's noisy and doesn't really develop any worthwhile riffing. It will piss off your neighbors, your friends, your girlfriend, your parents, even your pets. But taken in the right amounts, under the proper circumstances (I suggest speedballing and whiskey), it's damned funny.

Highlights: Fuck the lamb of God!!! Wow, they were even prophetic.

Verdict: Indifference [6.66/10]
(I'll hunt you down like a pig and eat your fucking throat!)

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