Bastard Priest

Under the Hammer of Destruction

Written by: MK on 30/01/2011 06:27:53

The year is 1985. Freddy Kruger has just been elected High Tyrannical Overlord of the war torn New American States after efficiently dispatching Ronald Reagan in his sleep. Most major cities have been leveled to atomic ash. The USSR is completing its takeover of the British Isles with an unstoppable force of zombie shock-troopers. Ritual sacrifice has replaced seeing a movie as the standard Friday night event. Metal is the world's new religion, and the Swedish death metal band Bastard Priest is touring every arcade basement and dilapidated warehouse still standing to support their debut album, "Under the Hammer of Destruction".

Why does this band fit so perfectly into my world-gone-metal fantasy? Why is it that when I listen to this simple, ripping, morbid debut album, I immediately wax nostalgic about an imagined past? Perhaps because Bastard Priest draw so much of their inspiration from the formative bands of extreme metal — the very bands that originated the mythology of thrash, black, grind, and death. Bastard Priest sound like death metal before death metal existed as a recognized genre. They sound like sped-up Hellhammer demos, Morbid Visions-era Sepultura, early Teutonic thrash, Motörhead covers played by the putrid zombies of Sid Vicious, Cliff Burton, and Darby Crash. Riff after riff, the malicious, granitic guitar tone and gruff snarled vocals carpet bomb the innocent listener. The punk-inspired approach, as well as the precisely invoked aesthetic of classic, rotten death metal, reminds me of the retro-thrash band Toxic Holocaust, just with way, way bigger balls.

Maybe Bastard Priest are too conventional, utilizing "Hell Awaits"-style backwards vocals and eerie church bells at exactly the right times, breaking the album in half with a brooding instrumental. When evaluating bands in this revivalist vein, the question always arises – are they authentic? Are they creating something genuine and exciting from within the the framework of the genre, or are they just mimicking, as outsiders, that which has come before? I think that Bastard Priest are the real deal – masters of the genre from within. Abandon all hope ye posers who enter here.

Crusty, vile, well-executed old-school death metal like the kind Bastard Priest play on “Under the Hammer of Destruction” will always have a home in my listening habits. The world is burning, and Bastard Priest are getting high off the fumes.

Download: "Visions of Doom," "Power of Death," "Under the Hammer of Destruction"
For the fans of: Repulsion, Toxic Holocaust, Asphyx, Necrovore
Listen: MySpace

Release Date: 16.08.2010
Blood Harvest Records / Pulverised Records

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