Sunday, January 15, 2017

QUICK HITS: Beheaded - Beast Incarnate

The Maltese Falchion

Apparently I've got a theme going, because yet again, I sit here with another Unique Leader styled brutal tech death album that found itself on the internet in the opening weeks of 2017.  This time, I find myself getting my eardrums ravaged by the veteran Maltese maniacs, Beheaded.  This is actually sorta different because for once this is actually a Unique Leader veteran, and I've gotta say that Beast Incarnate is one of the more immediately grabbing albums from the roster I've heard in quite a few years.  The only previous Beheaded album I'm familiar with is Ominous Bloodline from the surprisingly distant year of 2005, and all I really recall from that one is that the production was so obnoxiously bass heavy that it severely hindered my enjoyment of what was otherwise a solid BDM album.  Luckily, they take on a more "normal" sound for this one, similar to that impossibly beefy and steely tinge of later Nile and Krisiun, and it's a major boon to the album's potential longevity.  The subtle melodies that make themselves known through the solos and just generally badass riffage (check out a track like "Punishment of the Grave") are a great touch, since this style tends to focus on blistering technicality more than the more inherent simplicity of strong songwriting.  Beast Incarnate instead strikes that venerable nexus of muscle bound strength and quick fingered shredding that bands like Hour of Penance and Neuraxis have made their bread and butter over the years.  There are a surprising amount of catchy moments as well, like the title track and the more midpaced epic of "The Black Death", which call to mind some of the better moments of Abnormality's debut.  Special shoutout goes to the vocals as well, since Frank Calleja's roar is one of the rare in the style that has some strong charisma instead of merely being a secondary percussive force.  This isn't the same vocalist as Ominous Bloodline and I think that may be another one of the reasons this stands so much taller over that one.  In short, Beheaded got their shit together when I wasn't looking and delivered and early surprise for 2017, and I'm stoked to keep track of the band from here on out.

RATING - 84%

No comments:

Post a Comment