I notice that Bestial Raids have two ex-members of Cultes des Ghoules in their ranks and that particular band have a new album coming soon and it’s very likely to be landing on my reviews list. Why they left the band is not known but could it possibly be due to the fact that musically it just wasn’t extreme enough? Around since 2003, Polish act Bestial Raids are certainly extreme and as their name suggests are pretty damn bestial with it. This is their third full length album following on from various demos and splits and plenty of live action at the likes of Nuclear War Now fest, where it should come as no surprise that gas masks are worn on stage. After a fair few uncompromising listens to this it’s time to batten down the hatches, worry about it being a bit too much for the hangover laying at the back of the skull and press play for another time, digesting this 33 minute display of Neanderthal caveman music.
That’s exactly what this primitive barbarism reminds of too as the unholy trio pile on the ‘Elder Divilry’ and let fly. A fathomless melange of abrasive sounds thud out the speakers with evil intent churning somewhat slowly at first before everything piles in and flattens with a dense bass heavy sound. Sounding like it has been recorded in a cave that has not seen any form of light for millennia its horrid worship of the dead and one can envision the group playing surrounded by their dismembered bones. In fact it sounds like drummer Desolator is probably using a particularly meaty thighbone as a tool rather than a drumstick. Hideous and ghastly vocals are vomited out by bass player Sadist whose tones are also enough to make you jettison anything left in your stomach straight through the nearest available orifice and guitar work from Necron throttles what life is left out of you as it wraps around your throat.
I’m not in the slightest adverse to this style of music and love the primitive, no compromise, no shit given attitude by bands that play it. Indeed I have just reviewed US bestial horde Crurifragium containing members of Demoncy elsewhere and really got into that but this lot really don’t play in a way that anyone could possibly say they actually “enjoy” what they are listening to. This is music that’s an ordeal to get through from start to finish, there’s not a massive amount to distinguish one punishment rite (ie song) from another. There are some slower parts and occasional hints of harmony the latter of which you wonder if their form is taken by more of an accident than anything else, vocals occasionally contort into absolute horrifying yells and shrieks and the drums just power away like a skull being relentlessly caved in till all that remains is brain splatter and sinew. Slower parts do exude a sense of decrepit rotting necromantic atmosphere as illustrated in the stygian depths of ‘Descending the Thantifaxath’ but on the whole its attack all the way in a rabid fashion.
I think I have summed this up to the best of abilities, track by track dissection is totally unnecessary here and although the hangover has been distinguished by the hostility on display I feel like I need to go and stick my head in a bucket of cold water to wipe this filth away. In fact leaving it there and drowning could be a good solution after listening to the rest of this. What better reaction to “music” like this could one possibly achieve?
(6.5/10 Pete Woods)