Monday, March 10, 2014
Beast Within - Adversity/Servitude 7" (2014)
The saving grace is probably the vocalist, who has a really strong, angry presence with just enough nastiness, reminding me of Martin Walkyier (Sabbat) if he were a little less glib of tongue and sustained all his lines, or maybe a little bit of James Hetfield's style if he had a different tone. Riffing is pretty clearly inspired by the mighty Celtic Frost of olde, but this is really only a superficiality because the chords seem more direct than the weirder, morbid choices of the Swiss legends. Drawn out, repetitive grooves and a hint of chugging, with no decent leads or atmospheres anywhere in sight. Just a slowish to mid paced drudging that cocks back its fist, winds up a punch, delivers the strike and then the remainder of the songs are just follow-through on that one brutal motion. Drums are deliberately simple, semi-crashing beats and the bass-lines are just swarthy doppelgangers of the rhythm chords. It could not have taken Beast Within a long time to come up with these, and alas that straightforwardness juts doesn't offer enough nuance or detail to spur compulsion for more than a handful of cursory listens...
It's not exactly horrible or anything, I just came away with wanting more. More structure, more of a reason to care. I do like the vocalist Eric Syre's approach, and I think with a more varied musical backdrop he could change his own pitches a little and veer away from the monotony that this release embodies, but that said, I do think there are a lot of folks who might appreciate the sheer, heart-on-a-sleeve anger exuded from the music until it very quickly becomes redundant. Hopefully this short-form release is a test run, so they can get some feedback and offer something a little more detailed. This sort of doom/thrash hybrid is certainly an uncommon one, and there's a lot of room for someone to arrive and exert a little dominance. I'd prefer to hear Syre over some more monolithic, descending, dreadful doom riffs than these which just sort of crawl along with trite rockish riff patterns.
Verdict: Indifference [5/10]