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Beastwars - Album Review: IV

01 Jun 2019 // A review by Matt Mutinous

Sludge bands are few and far between in New Zealand and one of our best and highly regarded have unexpectedly made a return with a brand new eight-track album. Nominated for best rock album at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards and after an almost a two-year hiatus in which, singer Matt Hyde managed to fight off Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Wellington heavyweight's Beastwars are back in 2019 with the release of their fourth studio album aptly titled IV.

Opening track Raise the Sword drops in sluggishly and hard reminding us of the desert rock landscape which this band is most famous for creating. Catching us with the main riff and cutting through with a punchy bassline this song is live and raw. Whilst not straying far from their previous works, we can hear a few added samples and techniques within the production, accompanied by an official music video to bring about a well-planned re-entry for the band.

Turning things up a notch Wolves of Prey slams itself against a cold wall of cymbals and snare. The harsh vocals and full-bodied guitar tones really weigh in on this one. 'Storms of Mars' warps out of nowhere with its running riffs and addictive rhythm, crushing our ears before exploding into an epic guitar solo rattling our bones. Screaming from the top of a mountain is This Mortal Decay clearing a plateau with its cascading guitar and solid bottom end throwing the listener out of expectation by honing a fresh sound, unlike previous releases.

Putting things back into perspective is the first single released from the album, Omens. With its super low plunge into a stoner rock style dimension, pulling down before lifting back up into slightly modern sounding virtuoso guitar section. Crossing sounds of Kyuss and the likes of Def Tones to bring a new type of inspiration to the table. The strange drone of Sound of the Grave chugs up some atmospheric feels as it pounds away on the toms like fists on a casket door. An insidious vocal and bassline pair up to constrict the helpless cry of guitar, relentlessly, wriggling away underneath.

Bringing it right back down again is The Traveller emotional and raw the chilling intro bursts into an enforcing volley of harmony, peppered with painful vocals and muddy bass. Broken up by a crude guitar solo that chills the spine and highlights the power of the band. Sneaking up with a ghostly piano riff is the final track on the album, Like Dried Blood. Calm yet confronting this track wraps up the album in an epic fashion building up as it pushes on, developing into a freight train of huge riffs and punchy rhythm before abruptly ending in a chasm of silence leaving the noisy dynamic of the album intact.

A truly epic re-entry for the band displaying techniques of old and new, whilst not straying from their ever famous sound. Be sure to get out and see these lads as they tour the country this June with Aussie brothers Witchskull and catch some of these amazing songs live at one of the several shows booked throughout Australia and New Zealand. IV is a sure-fire way to keep their huge fan-base happy whilst growing it even bigger at the same time. Intelligent from cover art to lyric, this album will not disappoint. Canvassing many types of music tastes and flavours while managing to stay within a tight genre, regaining respect and continuing success, almost right where they left off.

Raise The Sword Official Video

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Beastwars

New Zealand sludge metal four-piece Beastwars abide by one steadfast maxim: Obey the Riff. Described as "a mongrel mix of Kyuss, Neurosis, and the mighty Godflesh..." (NZ Herald) and playing "heavy tunes for heavy times" (ALARM), the Wellington-based sonic soothsayers utilize the chaos that engulfs our world as ammunition for their defiant howls into the abyss.

Two years on from their internationally acclaimed, self-titled debut, Beastwars return on 20 April 2013 with Blood Becomes Fire. The new album serves witness to the end of days, told through the eyes of a dying traveler from another time. It is a work inspired by eternal themes. "It's a reflection on mortality, death and disease. Sooner or later they come for all of us and we've all screamed to the gods for answers, not that they've ever come."

On Blood Becomes Fire Beastwars hammer the story home with concussive force. "It’s a heavy album, both sonically and lyrically, but what solidifies it are the really triumphant 'fuck yeah' riffs. To us, this music is like getting psyched up to go into battle. You could be at war with someone else or yourself.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Beastwars


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Death Of All Things
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Blood Becomes Fire
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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