Bestialord – Law Of The Burning Review

Refusing to confine themselves to one genre, Wichita’s Bestialord tightly walks the line between thrash, death, and doom metal. The songwriting approach on their debut, Law of the Burning, feels like a more mid-tempo approach to Nunslaughter’s style of death metal ripped straight from the womb of thrash. Blend this with the more melodic sensibilities of contemporary Sodom, and perhaps a dash of Goatlord’s penchant for doom, for a record that has the potential to pack a real punch. Bestialord have chosen to keep things fairly clean in the production realm, eschewing atmosphere entirely and relying completely on the power of the songs. What the band delivers is decent, yet largely unremarkable.

Release date: January 1, 2018. Label: Symbol of Domination Prod.
The riffs are good, not great, and nothing too original, but do work in service of the songs as a whole. “Marduk Kurios”, for example, is constructed almost entirely around the two main riffs, and while not bad per se, they fail to fully carry the full weight of the track. The rhythm section adds little more; the bass mostly stays locked in with the guitar, while the drums (excellently recorded, I might add) are content to do little other than their primary task of holding the song together. With so much space for sound created by the production, it wouldn’t hurt to add in a few tasteful fills in more unexpected ways than just at the end of each phrase.

Beneath the surface there’s not a lot going on. The lyrics come off as copy/pasted from the Death Metal Handbook™, despite the more-than-serviceable vocal performance by Mark Anderson. While not falling victim to overproduction, the lack of discerning production characteristics results in failing to capture the listener’s imagination. The biggest standout of the album is the guitar work, from the solos in the hammer-on frenzy of “I Am Pain” (one of the doomier, and better, tracks) to the melodic wailer on “Loathed Be Thy Name”. Of particular note are the Phrygian breakdown sections of album opener “The Doom That Came” and title-track ripper “Law of the Burning” that perhaps serve as a nod to mid-era Death. Moments like these shone brightly, and finding creative ways to blend in other bits of influence could add some much-needed meat to the album.

Law of the Burning is one of those records I really want to like, yet it falls in a murky era where I feel I can appreciate it more than I can truly enjoy it. It’s a solid, honest effort but fails to leave a more lasting impression. Bestialord pay a bit of a price for playing it safe here and instead of sounding like a fresh, inspired debut recording, Law of the Burning sounds more like a band that’s been churning out similar material for the last twenty years. It’s an enjoyable ride while it’s happening, with a pedigree for potential, but it doesn’t leave me wanting to return for more.

Posted by Ryan Tysinger

I listen to music, then I write about it. On Twitter @d00mfr0gg (Outro: The Winds Of Mayhem)

  1. Such a shame that so many metal bands out there find it satisfactory to use half-assed fonts such as “Gypsy Curse” to represent them. Another classic is “Bleeding Cowboys”. – Simply Google “creepy halloween font” or whatever and you just uncovered more low-end metal band fonts than I care to count. It just makes them seem amateurish and it’s distracting to the music.

    Anything would be better, really. Even just writing it on a napkin, take a picture of that and using it as a cover.

    Reply

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