Review: Heathen Beast – The Carnage of Godhra

Posted: May 18, 2015 in Reviews
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Something that describes itself as ‘atheistic black metal’ is almost like being ‘heavy death metal’. It seems inherent to the genre, yet Calcutta’s Heathen Beast use atheism as a potent lyrical tool rather than the more straightforward ‘Kill God, Fuck Religion’ etc. They also infuse their black metal with some nice Indian ethnic instrumentation as well as spoken word intros.

The music itself is raging black metal with hints of death metal slid into the mix. It seems almost too easy to compare them to Melechesh, what with the Middle Eastern/Asian instrumental flourishes, but there is a definite similarity in parts. Heathen Beast are not as grand as their Israeli cousins, but they have the same sense of ‘less is more’ when it comes to the integration of the non metal elements.

‘The Carnage of Godhra’ is built of three tracks, all three stretching to six minutes and over. There are some cool progressive moments in here too, like the almost polyrhythmic mid section of ‘Ab Ki Baar Atyachar’, but the main core is a blasting black metal one. Eastern melodies float through the blackness of the title track, and the aforementioned ‘Ab Ki Baar Atyachar’ has some definite tribal influences. Closer ‘Gaura Yatra’ is uber melodic, welding desert melodies to a roaring beast of a vocal line. The atmosphere here is very reminiscient of Nile, without the inherent heaviness of that band. A dense, rumbling tribal percussion provides the base for soaring guitar lines and a killer melody. It’s probably the finest song here.

This is a great release from a new favourite band. ‘The Carnage of Godhra’ is an ambitious piece, carried off well by an ambitious band. Heathen Beast have excelled themselves here, molding a fiery, savage black metal album that doesn’t shy away from melodies or experimentation in the deliverance of their messages. And its on their Bandcamp for Buy It Now, so if you’re stupid enough to miss out on this, then you didn;t deserve to bathe in its majesty anyway!

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