Review: Baest – Marie Magdalene

download.jpgWritten by Mason Powell

Some say that if you dig a hole deep enough, you will find hell. Just below that you’ll find Baest stoking the flames. Baest pays homage to some of the best classic death metal from days of old. Cruising my sources landed me square in hell with these cats, and I immediately became a fan.

So far Baest has produced a demo and an EP so my hope is that there are great things to come from this band. These Danes clearly love death metal and are well-versed. Carving their sound directly from gargantuans like Entombed and Bloodbath (one of my favorites), as well as their American counterparts, Death and Obituary (who also just released a new album).

The whole feel for the album is bronzed right off the bat with their atmospheric intro track, “Djaevel.” Opening the album with the faint sound of goats bleating, church bells ringing and a little ominous chanting tells you exactly where you landed – straight in the midst of hell!

The first real track on the album, “Rape the Blessed”, opens with a growl building as if it were lava filling the chamber of a volcano, ready to erupt; and an eruption is exactly what you get.

The production quality on this album is gorgeous. Leaving room for each instrument to be clearly heard is such a rare thing on death metal albums. These guys clearly wanted you to know that not only will they grind your bones for soup with their heaviness, but they can shred as well.

“Wormlord” comes down from the mountain of death bringing doubled guitar sounds with a deep fuzz that would gloriously land on the finest stoner metal track. Off to the races on this track though; within a minute the band is furiously picking leads and drums are galloping across the plains. “I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death.”

“Marks of the Undead” drops some killer pitch harmonics from the onset of the tune. The double kicks in this tune don’t let up until just after one minute and that’s only to allow for a killer turnaround. The lead in this tune is so well placed that it stands out while not being obnoxious. A real diamond in the rough. No death metal is complete without some blast beats, and Baest deliver. Another stellar tune on a stellar album.

Wrapping this EP is the title track, “Marie (Magdalene),” which provides us with their gallop once again. The guitars are simple, riffy and perfect for what they are after with this EP. At six and a half minutes, this tune is no short ripper. The time allows for some dynamic breaks which allows the tune to breathe, giving you some respite from the hell breathing kicks and god slaying guitar licks throughout the rest of the track.

This is one I’ll recommend for all fans. If you love death metal, this is a gem; if you don’t, this might change your mind. They hark back to a time when death metal guitars sounded cleaner and were more defined. The tone of each instrument is clearly important, not only to the band, but to their engineer as well. 8/10

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