Bastard Of the Skies – Self Titled album
Thanks again to Chris and Tracie from Meltdown
Records for the CD. Bastard Of the Skies
are a three piece band from Blackburn; Matt plays guitar and provides
the vocals, Rob plays bass, and Craig plays drums.
- Deputy Lou Ford. After the feedback opening
an immense guitar chord leads into an old school doom riff.
Vocals are more aggressive than you'd expect (at this stage
anyway...). Drummer uses the kicker pedal sparingly and intelligently
throughout. The breakdown/stoner section is superb.
- But Our Princess Is In Another Castle.
More feedback to start before a chaotic, almost discordant,
opening section is unleashed. This one's shorter, faster and
way more direct.
- (Eighteen And A Half Stone) Parts Unknown.
More pared down opening with a sharper, less distorted, guitar
sound. Quiet before the storm as this one fuses doom, hardcore
and extreme metal sections together seamlessly, yet brutally.
- You, Foe. The feedback returns! Traditional
doom riff with basswork in the style of Year Long Disaster
(although obviously way heavier!). Guitar work reminiscent
of Viking Skull. Cracking track.
- A Traitor In The Herd. Feedback (again)
before an absolutely concussive riff of brutal minimalist
doom pummels you. Tempo wise it's too slow to be trad, yet
too fast to be monolithic. Chords positively slice through
you. Another stunning track.
- Michael Fucking Dudikoff. Space rock/ stoner
to start doesn't prepare you for the neck-snapper of a riff
that follows. This one is more traditional doom from here
on in, apart form the viciousness of the extreme vocals. Stunning.
- Shitfire. More direct with a change of
guitar tone, sounds like stoner meets hardcore. Loses its
way a bit though and drags.
- Cowards! Cowards! Returns to more established
doom territory, albeit with a punk/hardcore feel. Very driving,
another quality track.
- Kubrick Zirconia. Menacing opening riff
has the latent nastiness of a Meshuggah chugger. Chorus lets
up, but this is a brutal closer.
Let's get the negatives out of the way. The feedback
intros and outros get wearing and the tracks could, and should,
start and end more cleanly – or is this what they would
do live? Bass gets a bit lost in the production at times... but
more later. The inlay seemed a bit pointless; I'm all for minimalism
but lyrics or a thanks list might have been an idea. Get your
positive hat back on Chop! Returning to the production I suspect
it's supposed to sound sludgy and distorted, and let's face it
with the guitar work in general being so down-tuned, maybe I'm
being picky. There's only one weak track on here in my opinion.
The rest are as good a collection of modern doom as you are likely
to hear. What's most impressive is the adept way other styles
At a shade over 39 minutes it seemed a lot shorter,
which is always a good sign, especially with music this intense.
I shudder to think what this will sound like live – but
hopefully I'll find out soon! This CD carries my seal of approval
and I'll be championing it whenever possible. Track down a copy
as soon as you can!!