PICK OF THE WEEK: Name changes, but Bastard Feast devastating as ever on new ‘Osculum Infame’

Bastard FeastLet’s end the week on a fairly aggressive note, why don’t we? Hey, we’ve worked all week, some of us slaved through classes (yes, they go on during the summer), and some of us have had grueling commutes that make us want to throw shit off a bridge. Maybe your week involved all of those things, and if they did, please have a beer and settle down. I’m worried about your blood pressure.

If you’d rather associate with some metal that perfectly suits your mood and anger, might I suggest Portland, OR., smashers Bastard Feast, whose new record “Osculum Infame” might be right up your alley. This isn’t a new band, as you might know them better under their old moniker Elitist (their 2012 debut was “Fear in a Handful of Dust”). The new name fits them a lot better and at least stands out more. As for the music, it is corrosive, heavy, angry, and devastating as well, mixing elements of sludge, black metal, crust, and hardcore into the mix. Yep, lots of bands do that, right? True. But what counts is how the band immerses themselves into it and makes you feel every bit of it like you’re being attacked by an MMA fighter on bath salts. Bastard Feast certainly do with flying colors. This record is heavy and rowdy as hell, and that’s why we enjoyed it so much.

Bastard Feast coverThe dudes who comprise this wrecking machine are as follows: Josh Greene (who also plies his trade in Ephemeros) is on vocals; Taylor Robinson and Justin Yaquinto handle guitars; Jesse Apsy (who also goes by “Thunderfuck” in some circles) is on bass; and Nick Parks is on drums. In case you haven’t figured this out yet, these guys absolutely kill on this record. It has just the right amount of anger, spite, heaviness, vitriol, piss, vinegar, you name it. They get in, salt your wounds, piss you off, and have you ready to burn down a horse stable along with them. The horses, of course, would be evacuated in advance. We’re not savages.

“Bloated City” gets thing started with a bang, as Green’s black screams greet you, and then the rest of the band begins to steamroll hard. The playing is gritty, the music ugly, and it sets the stage about as well as one could expect. “The Serpent Spoke” is sludgy and mean, with damage-riddled playing that could warp your senses, and later a calculated, slow-driving pace does the rest of the mauling. “Fields of Black Cancer” isn’t just an inviting, miracle place of happiness and joy in theory, it’s a song that matches that glimmering sentiment! The track has hardcore edges, noises that make your ear drums throb, a whole lot of crushing, and even some dissonant notes to make sure you’re paying attention. Then we play polar opposites, as “A Tribute to What We Stole” blasts by in under two minutes, just blinding with rage, and it’s followed by “Synthetic Messiah,” a murky, nasty, buzzing 10-minute track that shows just how sinister these guys can be. It slowly, methodically eats away at your mind, with psychedelic wash and some gazey guitars, and the track eventually drowns out in a cosmic storm.

“Noose of Smoke” gets things back to guttural again, with a thick bassline as your warning shot, nasty growls that show no mercy, and even some doom-infested playing that shrouds everything in darkness. “Old Father” goes for broke with speed and riffs that sound like they’d make Converge envious, and the bulk of this thing is intense and molten hot. “Watchful Defiler” piles on even more damage, as it’s weird and monstrous at the same time, with wild growls and noise ringing out. “Claustrophobic of This World” unleashes the best riff on this whole album, and possibly their entire catalog, and that goes into a classic metal assault, guitars that create fog, and a devastating, punishing finish you might not see coming. Closer “The Rat Through Our Veins” injects more hardcore violence, basslines that are thick as steel coils, and scary vocals that make Greene sound unhinged. The track then goes into sludgy doom pits, deranged and menacing swirling, and finally a last gasp where the guitars bleed out all over the place.

Bastard Feast aren’t re-creating the wheel. But they are making a better one that gets added mileage and is more dependable than a lot of the other models out there. They probably could have made just as raucous a record had they changed their name to Cereal Feast, but whatever. The name fits, “Osculum Infame” absolutely crushes, and this band is getting off to as great a fresh start as one could expect. This band is ready for blood and is a hellish force, and hopefully this is just the beginning of their campaign of terror.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.facebook.com/bastardfeastofficial

To buy the album, go here: http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/