Being that this was an independently-issued release outta New Zealand, of all places, I must admit I missed Beastwars’ debut the first time around. But the band has generated a bit of buzz, seeing as they’re the heaviest thing to hit Godzone since the Big Sheep Shearer, and as such, we’re getting a vinyl reissue courtesy of the massive Granite House Records.
“Damn the Sky” is certainly quite sludgy, a galloping growler that sounds like Down beating Mastodon with a Crowbar. And man, those are some rough-sounding vocals. Dude must gargle gravel or something! “Lake of Fire” is a little more grungy, sorta like AIC [Alice in Chains] when Layne Staley’s having a really bad day. The band trawls through this thick muck for a few more tunes, “Daggers” driving deep with some downtuned doom riffage, while “Call out the Dead” offers some more sombre fare, as does the whisper-to-a-growl “Iron Wolf.”
Hey, when it comes to southern metal, you can’t go much further down than the South Pacific, right?
(Beastwars on Bandcamp, Granite House Records)