Artist: Front Beast
Album Title: Black Spells of the Damned
Label: Isengard Productions
This is the first full-length album from Front Beast, a German band playing black/heavy metal.
The guitar tone on this album is amazing. It's filthy, gritty, off-kilter, and just plain METAL. The vocals are also crazy -- harsh, rasping cries of desperation. Underneath it all, the audible bass lines and halting drumming add even more character to the album's production.
That's one thing I like about Front Beast's music: you can't mistake it for anything else on Earth. This band's sense of timing and melody is really distinctive, and lends the songwriting a creative edge. There are clearly plenty of black metal influences here, from the ritual repetitiousness of Beherit to the spare austerity of early Burzum, but there's also a lot of traditional/horror metal influence, as well. If bands like Mercyful Fate, Sabbat (JPN), and Root mean something to you, "Unbound Evil" and "Devils Flame" ought to get your head banging. The bizarre main melody and solos from "Past Midnight They Arrive" should appeal, as well. That one is among the best songs I've heard in some time! The mournful, epic title track is right up there, too, with some moving guitar work and vocals.
Black Spells of the Damned is a killer mix of heavy and black metal sound, one that ought to appeal to all who value occult music. After following this band through something like fifteen demos and 7" splits, I had very high expectations for this record, and it still blew me away! This is probably the best example of Front Beast's art released so far. Highly recommended!
Standout Tracks: "Candlelights", "Past Midnight They Arrive", "Black Spells of the Damned"