Artist: Front Beast
Album Title: Walpurgisnacht
This is the sixth demo from Front Beast, a one-man German band playing black/heavy metal.
Walpurgisnacht has good sound for a black metal demo. Everything is easy to hear, with just a touch of rawness. The drum sound is particularly spacious. The vocals are Burzumish screams, with an echo effect layered on top.
Front Beast mix second-wave black metal with more traditional heavy metal. The guitar work sometimes reminds me of Mercyful Fate or Sabbat (JPN). This demo finds them in a more atmospheric mood than on some of their others, though.
"Walpurgisnacht" is a fine example of the sort of atmosphere this band can conjure. The songwriting here is epic and loose, with long, doomy introspective sections. The vocals hold sway for the first half of the song, drenching everything in reverb. The coughing/screaming section is especially cool. The second half is instrumental, and wanders here and there before the ending brings everything together again.
"Into the Crypts" is a shorter song with a rousing riff-and-drum combo. I like the primitive guitar sound, which is closer to Venom or old Bathory than to Darkthrone or Burzum.
Speaking of the latter, the third song is a cover of "Ea, Lord Of The Deep". It's convincing enough, and I like the dry drum sound, but somehow this cover fails to move me much.
Ah, here's the heavy metal! "Laws of the Cemetary" has a much more active lead guitar. It's this sort of lead work that attracts me to this band -- nobody else's solos sound quite like this. They sound sort of mournful, with a unique sense of timing that's very endearing. This track reminds me of my favorite Front Beast song: "Armageddon Has Just Begun", from the Procreation In Fire demo. I especially like the humming in the background. Excellent stuff!
This is a great demo, more than worth the price just for the first and last songs, but it's not Front Beast's best. If you're looking to hear this band, check out Black Pest Metal or the split tape with Hati first. If you already have those, you should certainly get this... hell, get everything from this band! Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Walpurgisnacht", "Laws of the Cemetary"