Beldam – Pasung (2018) REVIEW

Coffee, thick-rimmed glasses and rain, am I right Seattle? Soul-aborting knee-slappers aside, this sludge metal band with death metal-tinged vocals is a finely-blenderized and very sexy take on the genre. It has all the life-hating brutality of Primitive Man with the jaunty hardcore life-hating of Eyehategod and bitter, mountainous aggression of Thou. Beldam’s second full-length ‘Pasung’ should definitely be on your sludge radar in 2018 especially if you’re into the corpse-buzzing, skeleton-rattling style of modern sludge metal that pulls carefully from the past.

What gets me off the most while listening to ‘Pasung’ are the influences from early sludge bands who themselves essentially borrowed from doom metal’s most aching late 80’s moments alongside the heavy NY noise-metal movement of the early 90’s. The suffering hour here on Beldam’s sophomore opus would rather touch upon Melvins and Eyehategod rather than Isis or whatever post-rock band we’re feign to be calling sludge these days. My favorite example of this is the rumbling sickness of “One From the Stable” that channels old Amphetamine Reptile noise rock/sludge crossovers like Today is the Day into one seriously incredible song with a hardcore punk finishing move.

If you’re a fan of what Thou was doing on albums like ‘Heathen’ but missed the punkish, howling screech (and RIFFS) of early sludge Beldam finds a middle ground on ‘Pasung’ that celebrates the stark raving mad origins of sludging-past without making a derivative mess of things. If “Carrion Feast” and “One From the Stable” can’t convince you to love ’em, you’ve missed the boat and deserve to be left behind to die. Would give this a higher rating but I didn’t really love “Sunken Sorceress” for the #2 slot on the track list and it doesn’t compare to the quality of every song after it. Brilliant stuff though, held up even better over repeat listening.

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Artist Beldam
Type Album
Released January 26, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Beldam on Facebook
Genres
Sludge Metal, Death Metal (vocals)

Stare into my future tomb. 3.75/5.0

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