Morrow vs. Hajduch: Bastard Priest’s Ghouls of the Endless Night

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Bastard Priest: Ghouls of the Endless NightBastard Priest: Ghouls of the Endless Night (Blood Harvest / Pulverised, 9/3/11)

Bastard Priest: “Ghouls of the Endless Night”

Hajduch: Ghouls of the Endless Night is the new LP from Swedish duo Bastard Priest, which plays fast, crusty D-beat / death metal. The album is streaming at Invisible Oranges, which is a must-read for all things metal (and which will hopefully continue to thrive following the recent departure of creator/editor Cosmo Lee).

Most of the tracks here are a wall of sound, but there’s a lot of interest in the spaces carved out. The melodic breakdown on “Enter Eternal Nightmare” (I think — the stream isn’t segmented by track) is one of many standout moments.

Morrow: These dudes are from Umeå, the home of Meshuggah, but they couldn’t sound further from the latter’s mechanical mastery. Their songs are raw, gruff, and to the point — a lo-fi metal-head’s dream.

Ghouls of the Endless Night is chock full of push beats and breakdowns, and it’s effective for what it is. A handful of solos give the tracks a much-needed other dimension, but I can’t help but feel a little bored. Also, I’m far from an audiophile, but the recording quality leaves much to be desired.

Hajduch: I totally disagree about the sound. A lot of people think those buzzsaw guitars are played out in the Swedish-style death-metal world, but they fit like a glove here. And normally, this sort of swelling side-chain compression is loudness for loudness’ sake, but with this band it really helps make everything sound huge. A cleaner mix would sound sterile — this way, you can hear everything, but at the same time it sounds a little dirty.

Morrow: Well, I guess that for me it sounds more than a little dirty. I will say, though, that I enjoy the semi-spooky and eerie background bits and overdubs. The moments of guitar wailing (not in a wanking-solo way, but in a squealing-effects way) give the album a haunted feel, which fits the title and theme.

If nothing else, Ghouls of the Endless Night is great lo-fi, crusty death metal for the Halloween season. Whether or not you get more out of it is up to the listener.

[Chromatic, our 400-page exploration of musicians and color, is out now. Order here!]

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