There aren’t many genres like metal where you can have a completely outlandish band name and equally bizarre album title and have that be a selling point. There’s a good reason why Cannibal Corpse was such a huge band in the death metal scene in their early days, and it wasn’t for razor-sharp songs and stellar musicianship.
Having a crazy band name that can turn chalk white the flesh of a conservative music listener isn’t as much a gift as it is really fun. Two of my favorite band names of all time are Gay Witch Abortion and Satanic Bloodspraying. At least in the case of the latter, you probably know exactly what you’re in for as far as the music is concerned, but the former’s a bit trickier. It’s not even metal, actually. I’d also be willing to bet if either band made one of the finest recordings known to humankind and it was universally lauded by critics the world over, neither band would get a nomination for a Grammy Award. They certainly would not have a shot at Album of the Year, and it’s a good chance neither would get a chance at the hard rock/metal category. After all, pretty sure there will be a Soulfly or Metallica recording to nominate.
OK, so never mind the rest of the world. We do a damn good job of that every day at this site. Only a true metal fan could walk into a store, find a record by the band Bestial Holocaust called “Into the Goat Vulva” and walk out totally excited to get the bastard into a CD player. There’s a pocket of people who would want to intervene on the buyer’s behalf and take said person to therapy. They wouldn’t even begin to be able to dissect what this Bolivian black metal/thrash/death band bleeds onto their albums, and that would provide much amusement for me. And I’m sure the band.
So today we’re tackling Bestial Holocaust’s third full-length album and follow-up to 2009’s “Temple of Damnation,” a fairly tame title in comparison to the new one. There’s nothing of redeeming moral value here, and if you have any sensitivity to overt Satanism and blasphemy, this likely isn’t the thing for you. Personally, I find any aversion to or fear of Satanic metal very funny. Just because you listen to it doesn’t mean you have to join a cult or perform a human sacrifice or plan for eternity in hell or whatever. You can just like the music for what it is, and what this band puts out there is some of the better underground madness you’ll hear this summer.
This hellacious machine starts with Sonia Sepulcral, who handles vocals for this trio. Her voice is infernal, demonic, and at times painfully raw, and every word she says, even if I don’t understand the language in which they’re delivered, made an impact on me. She’s really great at what she does, and she would have sounded right at home had she emerged with the first wave of black metal. Guitarist Satanael and drummer The Dead more than hold their own by offering up abrasive, savage, often speedy metal that’ll leave brush burns on your entire body.
Once you tear into opening cut “Dios Despiadado,” you know that business has picked up pretty effectively. The song feels primitive and barbaric (is that redundant?), and while Sepulcral’s vocals certainly stand out and carry you, they also don’t dominate the song. It’s also pretty catchy, truth be told. “Eterna Posesión” is speedy and punk-flavored, with monstrous growls and meat-ripping tendencies. “Virgin Lust” is pretty damn fast, too, with some dizzying guitar work and an outright suffocating vocal assault. “Demonios Devoradores” has a doomy introduction and feels dark and filthy, but that doesn’t last long after the flood gates open and a relentless tidal wave overtakes you. “Premoniciones” is more thrashy than the other songs, with some throat-mangling growl eruptions that sound like they’re trying to out-menace Tom G. Warrior; “Tierra de Apariencies” puts its foot on your throat, with Sepulcral practically regurgitating her growls into your prone body; “Eterna Transmigración” opens with blast beats and furious guitar work, and it has quickly become one of my favorite tracks on this album; and closer “Sacrificio” is a dizzying flurry of metal, with Sepulcral absolutely going for the kill with her vocals, making sure you don’t soon forget her once the album finally loosens its grip.
Bestial Holocaust is the epitome of ugliness and hellish horror, and despite all that blackness, they’re also unquestionably catchy. They write solid songs with melodies, and then they unload that music into unquenchable fire for the proper touch of evil. This may not be for every metal fan’s tastes, but for those who like things as infernally underground as possible, you can’t deny this band fulfills your wishes.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.myspace.com/bestialholocaust
For more on the label, go here: http://ironbonehead.de/
And here (strictly for U.S. distribution): http://metalhit.com/