Aha Mr Bean is back, nope not that one that would be silly! Not the one what got his head lopped off in Game Of Thrones either (and if that’s a spoiler, you are way behind). Nope we are talking about Mr Sam Bean of The Senseless and ex The Berzerker with his follow up album to 2007 release ‘In The Realm Of The Senseless’ (filmic play on words acknowledged). I am not sure why this has just arrived as apparently it came out early in February 2012 but arrive it just did and as it had escaped us before I was more than happy to put it on and see what is what. Shortly after I did, I picked myself off the floor having been blown off my feet; let’s put it this way, Mr Bean is full of beans and despite the length between albums is obviously making a statement that he is no has been! Enough of that anyway, it’s been far too milked as a bad pun and it’s time to get on with the case in hand.
Since the first album Sam has found a common ally in the form of drummer Leon Macey of UK act Mithras. To say that he has put his mark upon things here would be a bit of an understatement as the speed of the battery is literally flattening. That combined with Macey’s excellent mix and mastering job this one it really is a case of press play and hang on to your pants!
‘Caveat’ is indeed a warning of what to expect with football crowd chanting over a thick solid melange of sound. The battery is clinical and the crowd literally go wild before ‘In Our Hearts’ blazes in and blasts away. How many BPM does this hit? Fuck me, far too many to keep up with and the clean vocals and guitar cleaves add to it perfectly. This is all about dropping the metal tough guy image and making death metal music with mainstream sensibilities we are told. Who are they trying to kid though? If I played this to anyone with mainstream sensibilities they would be quick to defenestrate themselves which would be one hell of a task especially as I would have had to tie them to a chair and have long since boarded the windows up after the screams warranted undue attention.
As we continue the pervading vibe I get from the music apart from it being as nutty as a very nutty thing is that it is pretty uplifting, positive and happy stuff. The players sound like they are having fun and having a laugh and in doing so they are leaving a shit eating grin across my unsightly mush and even my ears are trying to have a dance to the leaden groove of this ‘Amazing Pain’ with its Type O tastic licks. ‘Death To Metal’ is particularly impressive and gives me a blast of Oz street punk mixed up with the manic death grind of the likes of Blood Duster. The other thing that I cannot get away here from though is the severe touch of Devin. Yep this is in places very SYL from the multi-layered recording textures, to the speed of the assault and the zany vocals and like I said, there’s a song called ‘Death To Metal’ which is just the sort of thing that you would expect from The Devster. Still with his convoluted attack of far too much material, which I have frankly given up on this is the adrenaline shot I need and it’s like hailing new flesh all over again!
Another belting song title that they beat Anaal Nathrakh to is ‘A Good Old Fashion Head Kicking’ we’ve all had some of those in our time, some of us too many to count and if this is the soundtrack, well that pain really is a necessary evil. Needless to say it’s one of the albums most violent tracks and it would be great seeing how many broken bones it caused live, which unfortunately is not a very likely thing to witness. If all this is not enough then there is also the prospect of Ol Evile Drake and the Matt Akercocke / Berzerker Wilcock having a guitar solo trade off on ‘Far From Over’.
The last few numbers calm things down a little bit after the manic overall pace. They expand and breathe a bit with the likes of ‘Let Me Sleep’ drifting off on a solid cloud, blown around by gruff vocals and chilled guitar wafts.
The one big injustice here though is that this is self-released, I am none the wiser whether that’s due to the band not finding the deal they want or simply due to the fact that with the time taken to make it they just wanted to get it out there. Hopefully the next album will not take anywhere near as long and someone decent will have picked them up as they would be pretty damn senseless not to on the strength of this
(8/10 Pete Woods)