Thursday, August 21, 2014
Bastard Sapling:"Instinct is Forever"
The Virginia band is back and this time slightly less black, but no less hard hitting.They hint more heavily at grind core and death metal on this one, though not to say this exercise in aggression is devoid of moods other than scathing. "Subterranean Rivers of Blood" is a flurry of blasty mc nasty, sometimes there need for speed blurs into death metal, though this one is much closer to the black side.
The rumbling bass of "Opal Chamber' starts off slowing things down and the song rebels against it going into more of a sweeping black metal like pulse.They catch a galloping groove here as the chords find more ambiance. This ambiance is taken even further on the clean guitar based interlude called "Elder". This gives way to a more rock n rollish "Killer in Us All" that finds it's black metal wings soon enough. They build into some powerful groove that beat you down head banging.
They display how their song writing has matured on "Splintering Ouroboros" , with weird dissonant clean break down that step up the dynamic level of the band. The vocals are largely one sided in their snarl, that stays mid range.The drummer is by far the star of this show, but with this kind of metal, should it be any other way? The songs are more concise on this one with the longest winded being the ten minute " Lantern at the End of Time", that also features weird layered clean vocals at the beginning over an otherwise thrash like charge, this is a totally unexpected move...so sorry no spoiler alert. The song takes another dynamic twist at the three minute mark with another step into clean vocals over strummed guitar, to create a rather Pink Floyd like feeling.
"Every Life Thrown to the Eclipse" launches off as a brutal sonic fist fuck. This is one of the albums heaviest starting points, though some of the songs do get more intense as they progress. The thrash vibe haunts the double bass. The vocals also get a little more fiendish in their more Immortal like rasp.The album closes out with the slightly more mournful "Forbidden Sorrow" , which has more darkness and texture in it's gallop.It does fall back slightly on some of the more conventional methods to approach black metal.
It's evident these guys have stepped up their game. I like the broader range of sounds , this is how metal should be done. I'll give it a 9.5, some of the falling back into the blast is what keeps it from being a perfect album, but hey 10 is flawless and never ending listen, so it's a lot to aim for. This is the best album you might fail to check out this year.