Beastwars – The Death Of All Things
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As the the last act in an apocalyptic triptych, The Death of All Things should be the very definition of finality; a brutal and all-encompassing take-down of everything that came before it. And on first take, that’s exactly what this record is. Where the first two records from Wellington's sludge-metal maestros asked questions, this record answers them. With 10-foot tall bells on.
However, in tearing down their past, this is the record that also points to Beastwars' future. Already renowned in their ability to marry lock-tight precision grooves with gigantic guitar riffs and the soaring vocals of Matt Hyde, the band have clearly decided to push the envelope on their third long player. This much is clear from first single and album opener, ‘Call to the Mountain’. The guitar sound and cadence is wonderfully familiar, but there’s an adventurousness to Hyde's vocals - which sets it apart from the previous to records immediately. It’s difficult to pin down at first. The full-throated cry is still there, as is the husky growl in between each chorus, but there’s undeniably a third dimension now – a graduation into something even more melodic and certainly more assured.
And ‘assured’ is really the best way to describe this record. A band absolutely in their element, knowing what they’re good at and comfortable enough to experiment outside of it. A metal act easily able to venture into the acoustic for the first time (‘The Devil Took Her’) while simultaneously challenging themselves on creating a soundtrack for the end of days (‘Black Days’, ‘Disappear’).The Death of All Things is absolutely wondrous and should be enjoyed loud and often.