What does one do when your favorite Swedish Death Metal "super group" loses their way? You pray for this record! Its been seven years since Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth left Bloodbath and they haven't sounded the same. Not only did they loose the visceral edge of his gutteral demonic roar, the band pivoted stylistically with Grand Morbid Funeral. That's where Bæst come in! This Danish band have flown under the radar, not gaining much reputation yet dropping in with an absolutly infatuated debut album that simply picks up from where The Fathomless Mastery left off.
Singer Simon Olsen has an uncanny resembles to the dense and deep, throaty roars of Anderfeldt, one of the best voice in this territory. That textural shout was an instant draw, giving me goosebumps. The rest of the music follows suit. Ripping guitar tones, the varying temperaments of ferocious Death Metal. Aesthetically and musically these compositions really do mirror Bloodbath in the best of ways. You could label them a rip off but their music is so good it just doesn't matter. The key distinction is melody, a couple of the songs have a colorful lead they return to, bringing a little tune alongside the onslaught but its mostly that sound defined by another band, a pleasure for a fan.
The album is a tight Thirty Four minute affair deploying an assault of punishing music that only has respite with a couple of classical guitar interludes. They are vanilla but have a mysterious tone, perhaps lacking in layering or depth, they could of birthed a little more atmosphere. As just a lone instrument it fails to dazzle. The musics composition is fairly narrow, utilizing typical arrangements of blast beats, aggressive drum grooves and menacing guitar riffs that tend to sound best at their most brutal, with the added enjoyment of demented guitar solos and lead melodies waging in on occasion. Its a lot of fun and has really scratched an itch. Will be interesting to see where they go from here. A sophomore record looms later in the year!
Favorite Tracks: Crosswhore, Hecatomb, Ego To Absolvo