Wait, this ain't death metal?
Beastmilk – Climax
At the start of this year I gushed over the incredible new album by Cult of Luna. Vertikal, I declared, was a dead-set to be my album of the year and considering it was released in January you might have thought I was being a bit short sighted or dismissive of the calibre of albums to come. It’s now mid-October and I have finally heard the first real challenger to that album from the world’s only “Apocalyptic post-punk” band I reviewed last year. In that review I stated “It’s a short release and that bothers me more than it should. I mean I don’t dislike anything I’ve heard but I feel that the band have more to show and more to offer and it kinda pisses me off that I will have a, likely, long wait to hear new material by these guys.”. How was I to know that Beastmilk would go and record an album so soon? I mean they hadn’t exactly been known for their timely regular succession of releases!! However, the guys are back with new album Climax and possibly one of the strongest albums I have heard this year.
I remember checking out their EP Use Your Deluge (In fact you can read the review here: http://www.rocknreelreviews.com/review/beastmilk-use-your-deluge/). I gave it an incredibly high score of 4.5 stars, a mere flies baw-hair from the elusive Everest of 5 stars. It was a hark back to the old days of Misfits & Dead Kennedys and it enthralled me with the rapture of its integrity. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who became a fan of the band either!! Converge guitarist and producer Kurt Ballou heard that EP too and found himself inviting the band to record their debut album with him in Boston. The result of that recording is Climax and I really, really really can’t stress how much I am in love with this album!!
When Beastmilk was presented to me on Use Your Deluge I was told to expect to compare them to a darker Joy Division or even Echo & The Bunny Men, I never heard that at all. Like I said above, the main sounds were Misfits and Dead Kennedy’s and whilst the Misfits sound is still there, I must acquiesce that what I hear most on Climax is a very fucking dark yet catchy Joy Division and of course Echo & The Bunny Men. The overall impression of the unified sound of Climax is of a lost gem of something recorded in the 1980’s.
To go track to track on this album seems like the right way to emphasize the awesome, but to tell you the truth every fucking track on this album is of the highest order that I will likely bore the shit out of you all. Instead I will pick a few tracks to chat about then make the case why it’s a MUST PURCHASE for 2013.
Genocidal Crush is such a somber fucking anthem of sorts that makes you want to dance to the gloom and doom. How the band hold this thin wire-like balance is dumbfounding yet hugely clever. The song is so well written with Kvohst’s delivering the sort of downtrodden vocals that can only be described as a cross between Pete Steele and Ian Curtis. I seriously want to occupy the dark landscapes the lyrics paint.
Ghosts Out Of Focus is where the band sounds most like the Echo & The Bunny Men comparison is leveled at them. It reminds me so much of Killing Moon at times, and I would say that this is what the bastard love-child of Type O Negative and White Lies would sound like!! The chorus of this song is haunting and exquisitely catchy. The guitars are huge and breathy with no shortage of wonderful riffs.
Fear Your Mind is back to the sounds of Use Your Deluge and has that Misfits vibe that won me over on that release. It’s raw and punky and brings the spirit of tracks like Void Mother on that EP.
Love In A Cold World is the lead single and whilst it’s not the strongest track on this album it’s still pretty fucking awesome!! It encapsulates all the bleak and beauty this band has to muster into one hell of an awesome song.
A huge amount of props need to go to the great and authentic production on this album. Ballou has captured all of what made the bands previous release so special but up the stakes making this album such an underground yet plausibly mainstream release. The songwriting is of the highest level and the guitar riffs are so interesting and cleverly constructed. Add to the mix the very solid bass and drumming, you have the perfect backdrop for Kvohst’s vocals, which I can say are completely mesmerizing!!
Every now and again an album comes along that’s so special and connects with you in a way that it makes it kind of difficult to express how awesome the music is without sounding like you’re some sort of pretentious elitist fucknugget. Beastmilk wowed me last year with Use Your Deluge and have completely captured me in a trance with Climax.
If I could recommend one album to buy this year it would be Climax so stop reading this review and get you’re copy ordered NOW!!