A few reviews of the albums:
BAPTISED IN BLOOD AND GOATSEMEN
The third full length from
what is to me, the greatest Norwegian Black Metal band of the current era. A
bold statement you may remark and one
that the music can substantiate. Everything about this band bleed the purest form of the Black Metal spirit, from the cover art, the band image,
the lyrical content, and most important of all the alarmingly foredoomed, hair raising Black Metal tumult. Of course it is harkening back to the timeworn
creative impetus of Darkthrone, a plundering of all that was unsanctified from the base musical constraints of the Transylvanian Hunger album.
This repertoire alone would sustain a band in the current over populated genre, but Beastcraft have a certain character of their own, a breathing
emotive essence that lives within the music’s core.
To listen to this album is like being dragged though the flames of Mammon’s funeral pits, and into the ice caverns of Dantes inferno.
For all the fast, barking vocal utterances, simplistic guitar arrangements and paint by numbers arrangements, it is the slower tracks that really empower
Beastcraft with a surreal climate of otherworldly moods and solid musical delivery. The quite spellbinding Blackwinged Messiah [also to be
found on the split 7” with fellow Norsemen Urgehal] or the equally seductive, The Beast Awakens, a plodding drowsy track lumbering in a wonderful
pallid melody. There is no grand design to the music, no complexity to flounder upon the receptive ears of the faithful. The beautiful brimstone smitten
music is in its honesty, in the music’s flawless orthodox take on a form of music that has enthralled in its many guises since the late sixties
incantations of English act Black Widow.
Just close your eyes and let the music take you to the very bowels of Hades where you will behold the rivers of boiling pus and squirming maggots.
Here the great worm writhes and feasts on the open wounds of the condemned. Hark the liquid fire, the stench of rot, and the very face of death
perched on the edge of sorrow. This album is for all who still cherish the olden times when Black Metal awakened the senses with invigorating extreme music.
BAPTISED IN BLOOD AND GOATSEMEN
AS is to be expected,
Beastcraft’s second album proper (MMVI’s Dawn of
The Serpent was a compilation of demo material)
presents yet another
masterful study in black metal primitivism in the manner of the old Norwegian masters, with influences being most obviously drawn from both Darkthrone
and Gorgoroth’s respective first triad of albums. Although solely inspired by the unrefined Norwegian bands of the second wave of black metal, it should
be accentuated that Beastcraft possess enough aptitude to produce music that, while not necessarily in the least bit original, paradoxically still manages
to sound urgent. Aside from the undeniable aptitude and zeal that the core duo of Sorath and Alastor possess for this genre, this immediacy can
doubtlessly also be attributed to the current situation in Norway, where bands have turned their backs en masse upon the fanaticism and aesthetics that
characterised the early scene, subsequently marking Beastcraft out, along with a handful of fellow countrymen, as a somewhat unusual proposition;
the Luddites of Norwegian black metal, as it were.
eleven hymns are performed over 42:45 minutes, and, unlike Into the Burning
Pit of Hell which was characterised by its generally short
songs (most hovered around the three minute mark), only three here, including the intro, are under four minutes long. This overall lengthening of
track times permits for rather more detailed song arrangements, though naturally the structures remain largely simplistic in nature; generally
following the conventional verse-chorus-verse structure favoured by primitive luminaries like Hellhammer.
frenetic to middle-paced as regards tempo although, as on Into…, there
are a number of bleakly majestic, middle-paced dirges
(in this instance Beastcraft Manifest, Blackwinged Messiah and closer The Beast Awakens) which allow the sinister ‘diabolic rites in the forest’
ambience to seep like a swirling mist from the speakers and work its dark magic upon the listener. Throughout, though, the freezing tremolo-picking,
the throbbing bass, the muffled percussion and the cavernous venomous screams excite nostalgia; close your eyes and drink in the dank
atmosphere, it could be the heady days of MCMXCII once again.
Unsurprisingly there is little in the way of fretboard histrionics on display,
with the emphasis being on atmosphere over technicality (although, having
written that, witness the filthy solos during Angel of the Abyss and at the close of Beastcraft Manifest). That is not to say the musicians are in some
way inept; they are of course merely adhering staunchly to traditional black metal parameters when composing material. As one might imagine,
the production is appropriately abyssal ala Under a Funeral Moon; evoking mental images of Leviasathanas Studios as an icy, mouldering
basement, with dripping walls, indistinctly illuminated by flickering black candles, daubed with pentagrams and other occult symbols and where
unspeakable rites are enacted in veneration of the Piercing Serpent.
Doubtlessly the serried ranks of dreadlocked black nail-polished humanists who
today pass as (or, rather, consider themselves to be)
black metal fans will abhor the unshakable conservatism displayed on Baptised…, but that is precisely the point; if you don’t ascribe to the
despicable values of the founding fathers then Beastcraft would rather you eviscerate yourself with a suitably blunt instrument. Of course their
delivery lacks the sophistication of a band like Deathspell Omega, who have skilfully refined the music and developed the primitive Devil worship
that characterised the second wave, but given the effeminate polished extravagancies that pass for Norwegian black metal these days
Beastcraft’s unwavering dedication to the true codex is thoroughly exemplary. A mandatory acquirement.
(from Sic Luceat Lux 'zine)
DAWN OF THE SERPENT
Beastcraft, a band I
had stumbled upon after searching deep for some pure sounding,
obscure black metal. At first impression, I knew the band held an amazing
prospect in their first 3 demos. When hearing that "Dawn of the Serpent"
included these 3 demos, as well as 2 added tracks, I immediately was drawn to
buying it, and not long after, I can say this music is exactly what I'd been in
search for... And for long indeed.
The black metal mass(acre) gets going with "Satanist" and after hearing this short yet extremely effective track, it is quite clear that this band are a brand of serious musicians. The music intensifies as "Satanic Fiend" seems to lurk from audial shadows into your very soul. The sound of the guitars is very thick and heavy, and doesn't interfere with the drums (which are low in the mix) or the vocals. Great songwriting presented here, with some amazing riffs which will hypnotize you in their pure misanthropic and hateful sound.
The drums, as stated before, are low, yet audible enough to make their presence felt. The rhythms are an interesting factor concerning the drums here. The drummer plays in a very interesting and primal-sounding fashion. Nothing spectacular in the shape of endless blasting, but the drums will leave their mark on the listener as well, since their sound adds to the overall hateful and negative feeling the album so eagerly spews.
The lyrics are to the point and the vocals are among the best I've heard, since they sound exactly how they should in black metal. I find the vocals being what keeps me interested the most in Beastcraft's music, even with the other instruments complimenting the level of tension and hate. A memorable vocal performance indeed, they stand on their own yet complete the album and make it am utter masterpiece. Notable inspirations in their sound are bands like Bathory, Gorgoroth, Urgehal, however, this band also has a very unique soun on their own.
The score i've given this album is a testament to the band's impact (musically) and also the high level of respect this band has almost immediately earned from many (or not so many) fans, including myself. "Dawn of the Serpent" is recommended to anyone with an interest in traditional black metal, with an added vibe of hatefulness that will leave the listener eager for more of it. Brilliant.
(from Encyclopaedia Metallum)
DAWN OF THE SERPENT
Hot on the fiery heels of the debut album, Into the Burning Pit of Hell, comes this overview of the bands impressive demos.
(The disc contains Beastcraft's 3 demos tied together + 2 bonus tracks) Here we find a ‘True Norwegian’ Black Metal band adhering to the
minimalism of Darkthrones ‘Transylvanian Hunger’, whilst wallowing within a gloriously odious musical mire of their own making.
The proceedings begin with the impressive, Crowning the Tyrant’ demo , that just oozes that archaic Nordic Black Metal atmosphere.
‘Pentagram Sacrifice , is just pure brilliance set to audio sound, a truly awe-inspiring demo that epitomised the early Norwegian scene in all its
drowsy awakenings. The likes of Gehenna are evoked during the slower tracks, whereas the bands most decisive track ‘Burnt at the Altar,
[also on the debut album, and aired in a wonderfully bizarre video on the bands web site] is just magnificent.
With the Satanic Supremacy demo , again, issuing a barrage of tumultuous simplistic orthodox Black Metal in the vein of the aforementioned
Darkthrone when Darkthrone were the very reflection of Satanic imbued evil.
The bonus tracks seem to evoke the blackened thrash of Bathory, with a slight retro feel to the grizzled arrangements.
All in all, this retrospective is an enjoyable release that resides in the very deepest clefts of the Norwegian Black Metal underground.
DAWN OF THE SERPENT
Beastcraft offer a close encounter with superior darkness. Bringing the mind back to the early days of Black Metal, especially
"A Blaze in the Northern Sky", with a correct input of bizarre feeling and details taken out of the black book. It´s composed with such
delicate perfection that this is a true masterpiece of Black Metal. Tasteful down to each sound, great vocals, guitars, drums.
Monotonous ackwardness that is awesome. The haunting opening "Satanist" that simply is followed by numerous great tunes.
Bringing together the magic of early 90´s Black Metal with new blackness of today. Beastcraft will bring joy to those longing to hear
black tunes of satanic magic, with a massive dose of highlights. (unholy)
(from Nordic Vision, www.nordicvisionmag.com)
INTO THE BURNING PIT OF HELL
The Return of Norsk Svartmetall!!!!!
We all now the story...
Once there was THE TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL.
Then it died...
Rotting slowly buried under the pile of trendy progressive/post/experimental crap.
And then came...
BEASTCRAFT and brought the flame back!!!
The true satanic hatred and devotion came back once again. Although I am pagan myself and prefer my original Slavic pagan beliefs
above anything else I can still appreciate the trueness and devotion presented by this fanatics. I have respect for non-PC, true, devoted,
anti-mass and anti-trend satanists who make no compromise about their beliefs and actions. And yes we DO share the same goal as the
judeo-christian lies are something that needs to be torn apart.
This release is totally saturated by hatred, despair, misanthropy and satanic devotion. It has been a long time since something like this
left the Norway last time. After a short disturbing intro about ''sacrificing yourself to satan'' the actual album starts. Usually one fast track is replaced
by a slow one. That is something very typical for Beastcraft. Rather than changing the speed many times in one song they change it from one
song to another. I personally prefer the fast tracks. They are really hateful and sinister.
Drumming is perfect and the only band that comes to my mind using similar type and sound of drumming is Satanic Blood from Netherlands
except that the lunatics of Beastcraft seem to be much more synchronized together.
The first song dashes in like a hurricane and it smashes you like a hammer. Unfortunately there is only few people out there who can
fully understand and appreciate the power of this hate hymn. To most of people this is just ''chaos''.
The second song is slow and the next one is fast again just as I said before.
You should never get bored. The sound is great and could be not better for this type of release. It is raw as hell but everything is still very clear
and audible. These people obviously spend some time to accomplish this.
I am trying to think if there is any nowadays Norwegian BM band that I like better than Beastcraft but guess what... I simply can not!
This is one of the best - if not the best - releases coming from Norge in years!
A true underground jewel that you will want to hear again and again... kicks the shit out of your average sweet ''black metal'' releases.
(From Encyclopedia Metallium, www.metal-archives.com)
INTO THE BURNING PIT OF HELL
Norway comes this Black Metal horde with an album that is truly amazing. I
haven't heard such raw power in a long time.
The music is mid-paced to fast, and aggressive as Hell. This has to be heard!
hatefilled vocals sound like they have been recorded in a huge crypt. This is
something that reminds me of the mid '90ies.
The vocals have similarities to those by Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection (R.I.P), but with more distortion to them. Most excellent!
production is abit filthy and dark, rather bassoriented and with such aggression!
You hear the guitar and the bass most in the mix,
followed by the vocals, and then the drums slightly further back. This is reminiscent of days of yore, when the bands weren't as plentiful,
and had a message to deliver that wasn't all words and no action. The tracks are usually short and to the point, without being annoyingly short.
Standout tracks are "Enter the Chasm", "Burnt at His Altar", "Black Witchcraft", "Unholy Blood Ritual" and "Into the Burning Pit of Hell", with
"Enter the Chasm" being one of the best Black Metal tracks ever recorded.
(from Baphomet's Throne 'zine, www.baphometsthrone.com)
INTO THE BURNING PIT OF HELL
that most of you reading this may never have had the (dis)pleasure of listening
to Norwegian UGBM act Beastcraft;
a band of such rawness, grimness, ugliness and every other nasty sounding ‘ness’ you can think of, it almost defies belief. Formed in 2003 by
the mysterious Sorath Northgrove and Alastor Nefas (also of Vulture Lord and Urgehal), Beastcraft have thus far released a string of demo’s,
a split with Orcrist, a compilation of demo and unreleased material, and a full length of which this writer now proudly holds in his sweaty, quivering hands.
Featuring 12 songs in 32 minutes of absolute black metal mastery, “Into The Burning Pit Of Hell” was originally released in 2005 limited to 1000 copies
but now thanks to those kind folks at Black Seed Productions, this gem has been made readily available to us lucky buggers again. Hinting heavily
(yet unashamedly) towards ‘Transylvanian Hunger’ and ‘Under A Funeral Moon’ era Darkthrone with treble-heavy, fuzzy guitars, necro production, raging
drums and prominent bass hammering the ears with more ferociousness than the flames of Hell itself. Hints of freezing melodies on tracks like album
highlight ‘Black Witchcraft’, are demonstrated to excellent effect here adding an eerier, more ritualistic feel to the albums otherwise overtly brutal nature.
Vocally this is just nasty with each blasphemous phrase scream filled to the brim with hatred and malice, adding to the already blistering quality of this
material and keeping the spirit of traditional and true Norwegian black metal alive.
Definitely not for your average Dimmu Borgir fan, Beastcraft will appeal to those who like to dwell deep in the infernal realms of the black metal underground.
For a taste of some of the harshest, out-right satanic and truly underground Norwegian black metal ‘Into The Burning Pit Of Hell’ is an absolute must.
(from Vampire Magazine, www.vampire-magazine.com)