Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bestial Warlust - Blood & Valour [1995]

After releasing one of the best extreme metal albums in Australia’s history, Bestial Warlust didn’t waste anytime sulking in their relative underground success down under. Instead they hit the studio the next year to create a follow-up to the masterpiece that was “Vengeance War Till Death.” The result was the equally diabolical sophomore record “Blood & Valour,” a record that will not disappoint fans of the band’s previous work, but will offend just about everyone else. With the departure of axe master KK Warslut and bassist Corpsemolester, it’s incredible to see how well this album came out. Less than a year later with two new members in the fold, but that is just a testament to how good Bestial Warlust is. 

Riff-wise, the songs on this album aren’t much different from those on the predecessor. There’s a lot of tremolo picking throughout, with the most notable flurries of rapid-riffage being on “…Till the End” and the insane “I, the Warrior.” “Legion of Wrath” is one hell of a headbanger, due to the awesome midpaced riffs that give the listener a breath of fresh air from the constant tremolos. The incredible instrumental “Within the Storm” features some of Bestial Warlust’s best riffs, as well as some of the best songwriting skills from this Aussie horde. “Prelude: Descention Hells Blood” is the most evil track in this band’s arsenal, right up there with “Satanic” from the debut. The song starts with a haunting clean intro and some wind sound effects, only for the serenity to cease once those heavy power chords hit and the wicked tremolos return. 

While I don’t find this record to be better than the band’s debut, there is one significant upgrade on “Blood & Valour.” The production. This music is still undeniably old-school and the production is still pretty shit compared to modern standards (then again, who would want to listen to pure savagery like this with modern production?), but all of the instruments sound so much clearer than they did back in ‘94. The drumming doesn’t take over the music, as the riffs are clearly heard despite Hellcunt’s relentless performance behind the kit. And Bloodstorm’s vocals are still in top form as he brings a violent and barbaric edge to the already brutal music. Bestial Warlust is one of the reasons why Australia’s scene is beyond amazing, and their influence is irrefutable because of classics like “Vengeance War Till Death” and “Blood & Valour.” 

“Death Rides Out”
“…Till the End”
“I, the Warrior”

Final Rating
Awesome [8.7/10]