Videoclip of the Month!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bestial Warlust - Blood and Valour (review)

Bestial Warlust - Blood and Valour

As far as metal in the 90’s is concerned, Australia hasn’t been much of a player as far as war/bestial black metal is concerned, Australia is just a footnote in the scene. Even though this may be the case, pretty much every war metal fan you will ever meet will have heard of Bestial Warlust. Apart from Destroyer 666, Australia isn’t really known for it’s black metal. Bestial Warlust have pretty much put Australia on the map when it comes, enticing outsiders to come in a take a look at the rest of the scene and have influenced other fellow Aussie bands to join them. Even though Bestial Warlust have broken up for a long while now, as long as people know about war/bestial black metal their legacy that they have left will still live on.

War metal, for those who don’t know, could be one of the most extreme forms of black metal out there. It’s brutal, often raw, fully of energy and atmosphere and if there were anything that could be close to defining a relatively unused term “technical black metal” war metal is technical and black metalish. In Bestial Warlust’s short career as a band, they only released 2 albums with Blood & Valour being the most notable. Back then, I’m going to guess that people wanted more than what bands like Mayhem called brutality, they wanted extreme black metal. If anyone in the early 90s ever prayed that a band like this would come around, Bestial Warlust is their answer.

Blood & Valour is an extremely, extremely raw and brutal album. There is just no other way to describe it. Every second, every minute passes is just filled with metal explosiveness which when you think about it, really gives the term “war metal” intent because Blood & Valour sounds definitely sounds like a war. The first thing that I must point out, the drumming… well all I can say is what less do you expect for a war metal band other than all out brutality and technicality of course? The blast beating is maintained at quite a high paced throughout this album which gives the music it’s energy but they remain at the behind the rest of the music. I don’t know about everyone else, but I find that the drumming has absolutely not structure to it whatsoever. It’s all just sheer technicality and speed which almost sounds like the drummer is doing it freestyle. Actually come to think of it, nothing on Blood & Valour has structure, it just seems like one big incoherent blob of sound. The rhythm doesn’t follow any pattern that I can here, the guitar solos pop out of nowhere and have no organization to it, the vocals… I don’t even know what they are, someone getting choked to death? Someone being drowned? I have trouble believing that what’s being said are even real words.

I’m not sure about other’s opinion on this, but there is definitely a huge thrash implication in Bestial Warlust’s sound. If you really take a superficial look at Blood & Valour, it almost sounds just like a blend of black thrash at it’s most extreme form and death metal. Also, you can tell by the number of guitar solos and the nature of the band, that they’re heavily influenced by thrash metal. Not only that, but pretty much all the ex members from Bestial Warlust were and still are involved in some kind of black thrash metal project. So I think you get my point… everything points to thrash metal.

Even though there is so much to like about Blood & Valour, and even though Blood & Valour is a classic album, it is far from perfect. For a starter this album is extremely redundant, so repetitive in fact, that you could probably listen to one track (pick a track, any track!) on Blood & Valour and you’ve pretty much heard all of Blood & Valour (not even that, you could probably just listen to half or a quarter of a track to have). Seriously though, there is absolutely no change in pace or direction at all which makes Blood & Valour seem very one-dimensional. For a really technical band such as Bestial Warlust they give the impression that they’re really unsophisticated in the sense that there is no depth to their music. Although this also emphasises the point that I made about redundancy, there is just something about the music on Blood & Valour that makes this just seem like another album and judging by the fact that their last album “Vengeance War Till Death” was only released in 1994 (the year before) they clearly haven’t taken the time or had the motives to put the effort into making something deeper, and thought provoking which is something more modern war metal/bestial black metal are starting to achieve. All that being said though, if Vengeance War Till Death and Blood & Valour were simply freestyle albums (which they probably were), how it became so famous was simply a fluke, a fluke driven by extreme metal fans looking for something more, and more extreme. 

In my opinion, Blood & Valour is a generic album but because something like this was created before really extreme forms of black metal were even established which have gained this album a legendary status which made it an instant classic. That being said, I don’t think that they will keep up with their modern day counter parts and Blood & Valour was probably bestial black metal at its most primitive. Nowadays, Australia has Abominator, Destroyer 666 and Gospel of the Horns to fall back on and the beauty about this is that members from Bestial Warlust are now in these bands so although the band might be broken apart, what they left for us still lives on. I give Bestial Warlust’s Blood & Valour a 15/20 purely because it’s an Australian classic.

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