Beastmilk – Climax (Svart Records)Sunday, 15th December 2013
Under a heavy cloud of nuclear fallout, there’s a dark wave of radioactive dust spreading across the globe, originating in Helsinki, and is causing fits of delight to those caught in the path of this atomic wind of infectious rock n roll radiation. Known as Beastmilk, this storm can be broken down into four main elements: Goatspeed – guitars, Kvohst – voice, Arino – bass and Paile – drums. Condensed they are the apocalyptic post-punk band from Finland who is making reviewers everywhere rethink their best-of lists for the year.
Echoes of Peter Murphy, Joy Division, Misfits, Morrissey and maybe Iggy Pop can be perceived in the gloomy yet effervescent, angular yet anthemic modern post-punk by Beastmilk on their debut album Climax. Of course, what made any of the aforementioned bands iconic were the vocals, and in vocalist Kvohst, Beastmilk has their own dark crooner, front and center. A veteran singer, Kvohst (formerly of the progressive black metal band Code), was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy for his work on the album Resplendent Grotesque from 2009. Accompanying this voice, the real nuts-and-bolts of the band, reverb and delay-drenched guitar lines interplaying with spot-on bass work to form a melodic wave of punky, goth-esque vibes, is anchored by effective and tasty drumming and percussions.
Opener “Death Reflects Us” shows off what’s to come with regard to the band’s potent backing vocals and bass playing throughout the album. “Genocidal Crush” is an early favorite on the record with a convincing groove, cascading guitar shimmers and hand-clappin’ chorus. “Ghosts Out of Focus” drips with dreary melody and momentous swells while “Nuclear Winter” cuts a jagged, uncertain melody, then kicks into a Lust for Life-evoking groove which becomes another highlight of the album. That kicks off the second half of the record tremendously, as the following three tunes “Fear Your Mind,” “Love in a Cold World,” and “Surf the Apocalypse” are incredible.
The four guys playing on this record, each on shining display on Climax, have made a memorable, notable and laudable album that comes absolutely recommended. It feels like Climax just might be a classic.