A tsunami of a drum rolls carves you open to the brutality that Baest are about to unleash on your soul. Deep guttural growls command the preceding’s and these are accompanied by fast intricate drum work and seemingly effortless fretwork showcasing ‘Vitriol Lament’ as a worthy opener on this, Veneum, the latest offering from fast rising Danish death metal horde Baest.
‘Gula’ is next up, and again, it is a drum piece, a short roll, which opens the track and leads into a heavy and brutal monster which allows the vocals of Olsen to growl and spit his way through the track. The strings of Revsbech and Karlsson work in perfect harmony with the thicker strings of Melchiorsen pounding into the ground along with the beats of Abildsten. As much as the track does pick up pace and tempo as it progresses through its life span, I do feel that it loses momentum and verges on becoming tedious and ponderous at times.
‘Nihil’ injects some diversity into the album and opens with Olsen’s guttural growls dissecting the intricate and melodic guitars. The drums are keeping the whole corpse together with a titanium vertebrae until the track picks up pace and allows each facet of the band to showcase their individual talents. Momentum continues to build throughout the song, and Abildsten on the drums is audibly a whirling dervish.
The title track is positively ferocious and venomous. There are blast beats operating at warp speed and the strings are intricate and delicate. Olsen’s vocals yet again are maniacal and venomous. The track is returning back to a true death style with some speed injected to create an authentic fusion.
‘Styx’ offers some respite offering a delicate acoustic guitar doodle and not swaying from this in its short existence. The piece may seem out of place to a lot of old school death stalwarts but I think that it is strategically placed with precision and ingenuity in order to carve open the heavy body of the rest of the release.
A deep gurning growl starts ‘Heresy’ before Olsen et al launch into a heavy and crunching track. There is some melody, and some definite replication of Death Uber Gods Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel. The track is controlled and commanding and the vocals are angelic and harmonious and absolutely crushing in their deliverance, with the drums and guitars serving up accomplished technicality at its most brutal. It has it all, brutality, venom and even a well-placed guitar solo in the second half. This is my stand out track on the album and one which will definitely be featuring on many a playlists for years to come.
‘As Above So Below’ is guitar heavy, almost swamping the rest of the organs in this juggernaut. The vocals are accomplished, but the guitars keep edging ahead on the mix before they seem to be pulled back in so that the track can become more unified with some depth and body.
‘Sodomize’ and ‘Empty Throne’ lead us towards the conclusion as a dual battering machine. Both reminiscent of each other. Both have violence at the forefront and the vocals appear more menacing and vicious than on their forefathers that lay before them on this collection of carnage. The guitars are battling with each other and Melchiorsen cements the two warriors together with his reliable crushing bass lines.
A cover of the Bolt Thrower classic, ‘No Guts No Glory’, rounds off the package and ends it in the grandest of fashions. Its absolutely pummelling and venomous, highlighting just how accomplished Baest are as a unit. It probably helps a little with a decent choice of an original to recreate, from the true god fathers of the scene, but this doesn’t mean that the Danish quintet rest on their laurels, they launch into this and absolutely annihiliate the gem. Smashed it to smithereens and leaves you beaten and bruised, with a true sense of accomplishment for making it through this violent riot.
It’s no wonder that Baest have become the number one death metal act in Denmark, and have successfully established themselves as one of the country’s most promising metal acts in recent years.
This beast needs to be in your collection and needs to be there now. You won’t be disappointed
(9/10 Phil Pountney)