Bestialord – Law of the Burning (2018) REVIEW

From the first few bars of “The Doom That Came” one can worm out a unique set of influences and a very old school heavy metal approach to proto-death metal, late 80’s death/doom experimentation, and even classic speed metal. ‘Law of the Burning’ is a rasping occult text invocation backed by crawling slow-motion speed metal that beguiles the senses and stymies modernist cliche nearly to a fault. In fact I would have said a lot of the same things about founding member’s previous band Sanctus Infernum, a true death/doom hybrid that combined Candlemass riffing with early 90’s death metal like Tiamat. The more of Mark Anderson‘s music I hear the more I can hear the stamp he left on Manilla Road‘s comeback album ‘Atlantis Rising’, a personal favorite of mine from that band’s legendary discography.

In base concept Bestialord resembles Sanctus Infernum but with a different set of influences and a sound that would fit in better around 1987-1990 in the US thrash/proto-death scene. Sure, the sound is leagues beyond the murk of Mystifier‘s ‘Goetia’ or Goatlord‘s ‘Reflections of the Solstice’ but the spirit of the music is much the same.  Anderson’s vocals are delivered in a tone that others have likened to Kiljoy (Necrophagia) and early Dave Vincent but I’d say his cadence is closer to Ingo from Schizo and Necrodeath‘s early career but with the rasp of CarcassJeff Walker on ‘Necroticism’. His voice is clear and fully decipherable but there is a half-growl to it that reminds me of Florida’s death metal demo days pre-Kam Lee gargling. Bestialord’s sound is menacing, relatively minimalist, and marries early death/doom aesthetics with heavy metal at a compelling ratio.

Apart from puzzling out the influences and similarities to classic underground bands, Bestialord’s intrinsic value is in their songwriting. Sure, a lot of the vocal patterns are occasionally repetitive and some of riffing is basically neutered death/thrash… But that restraint power-trio sound actually ends up being even more effective with repeated listens. It could be that ‘Law of the Burning’ is just dripping with too much old school flair for me to ignore, or that Bestialord simply have tastes that align well with my own; I suppose either way I enjoyed this record a great deal as I spent time sussing out its influences and enjoying the riff-driven death/thrash/doom content a la Dream Death that it provides.

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Artist Bestialord
Type Album
Released January 1, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Bestialord on Facebook
Genres

Portraits of diseased vermin. 3.75/5.0

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