Morrow vs. Hajduch: Beastwars

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

BeastwarsBeastwars: s/t (5/9/11)

Beastwars: “Damn the Sky”

[audio:|titles=Beastwars: “Damn the Sky”]

Morrow: Hailing from New Zealand, Beastwars is a four-piece stoner/sludge-metal outfit that specializes in down-tuned guitars, deep grooves, and gruff wailing. The group remains unsigned for now, but after hearing this self-titled album (which you can do for free at Beastwars’ Bandcamp page), it’s only a matter of time before an indie label picks them up. (Hello, Tee Pee?)

The music isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s a fist-pumping, head-banging good time — part Unsane, part old-school Soundgarden, and part High on Fire.

Hajduch: There is a major, major grunge influence at work here. “Lake of Fire” sounds a whole lot like a burlier “School” by Nirvana. The way the vocals interact with these huge riffs carries a definite Pacific Northwest influence. There’s also something about the riffs that remind me of Undertow-era Tool but with more of a classic-metal gallop to them.

I’m definitely shocked at how little exposure this band has gotten. This is a really solid stoner-metal album that should appeal to everybody who even slightly likes this kind of thing.

Morrow: Now we know where grungy metal went to mature: across the ocean to the Pacific Southwest. Being from New Zealand probably doesn’t help for touring, as it must be a pain just to get to Australia (which in itself is a pain in the ass for touring). But the Internet allows for fantastic discoveries, so hopefully they’ll latch on somewhere soon.

As for the quality — absolutely. The album blows away a lot of the mediocre stoner-metal releases that are undeservedly lauded. If only those other bands adopted Beastwars’ mantra of “obey the riff.”

Hajduch: Readers, please head to Beastwars’ Bandcamp page and pick this album up. It’s solid from start to finish, and you will bang your heads; it’s that simple. In conclusion, I’m proud of Scott and I for making it through this review without a reference to Lord of the Rings — except for this one, which doesn’t count.

Morrow: Or Transformers! This one counts, though.

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