Sunday 26 July 2015
BEASTMAKER ~ Channeling the spirit of Sabbath with their self titled EP
Forty years after getting together in Birmingham ,UK, Black Sabbath still influence and inspire so many of those bands we listen to today. The Sword, Orchid, and Freedom Hawk are just three bands who owe a large debt to Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill and let's not forget all those Swedish bands like Graveyard, Witchcraft and Horisont who have taken Sabbath's dark rock noodlings and added elements of bluesy swagger and psychedelic colouring to the mix. California's Beastmaker are another name you can add to those list of bands influenced by those four sons of Birmingham and that fact can be evidenced by their new, self-tiled, EP.
After the initial reaction to rifftastic noise that hits you on this EP the next thing that grabs your attention is the "Englishness" of the vocals, which sound not unlike early Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett, a tone which is slightly monotone yet melodic and forms a perfect counterbalance to the heavy traditional doom riffage that sit beneath.
First track "Eyes Are Watching" is a masterclass of doomy atmospherics and metal riffology incorporating shifting time signatures, classy pentatonic solos and combined with those vocals, mentioned earlier, tells you more about this bands sound aurally than I could explain here in words
Second track "Heathens" steps a little outside of the Sabbath blueprint, but not too far, employing a chugging mid-paced nwobhm type riff over which the glorious verses and chorus are incanted. The track is further enhanced by a wonderful Iommi-esque guitar solo, short and to the point and saying just enough without going into the realms of over-indulgent showmanship.
"Astral Corpse" the third and final track is pure "Master of Reality" era Sabbath worship with a riff that just screams Iommi and the only way the band could possibly improve on this track is by adding an Ozzy type "Oh Yeah" at the end of each verse.
So in summing up what we have here is three songs of Sabbath- esque doom shot through with moments of psychedelic colour and texture. Ok its not an exactly original concept but its done exceptionally well and has groove a mile wide. So if you are, like me, a Sabbath fan with a penchant for early Floyd type vocals then you just gotta check out Beastmaker!