01. Damn the Sky 02. Lake of Fire 03. Mihi 04. Daggers 05. Call Out the Dead 06. Red God 07. Iron Wolf 08. Cthulhu 09. Empire
Beast Wars, not to be confused with the mid-90s cartoon, are a Sludgy Stoner act out of New Zealand, with Beast Wars being their first release.
Generally the songwriting approach of this act is to have some form of trudging riff paired with a gritty yet soulful vocal approach that at times almost sound like drunken mumbling by someone chain smoking three packs a day.
After a while, when perhaps the trudging is starting to feel tedious, the band goes Beast-mode with the chorus. The tempo is kept generally the same but intensity gets ratcheted up a notch or three.
Guitar riffs, previously muted, are unleashed… as are the vocals, which switch over to a powerful roar. Toss some wah-drenched leads into the mix as well.
The swell in energy is palpable.
Amusingly, while I grew to like this approach a bit more with each passing song, I felt the two strongest songs on the album were the last two, Cthulu and Empire, and they pretty much eschewed this dynamic.
Cthulu kept the slow, muted trudge pretty much the entire way, but the band managed to craft a creepy song about shipboard disaster which really benefited from the restraint. Probably my favorite song on the album.
Empire went the opposite route, dumped the build-up, and just pushed the intensity straight out of the gate and maintain. A great pick to be the closer, as as the song ended I found myself disappointed to be met with silence. That's a good closing track.
The band isn't blazing new trails with their tunes, but the tunes sound great. The guitars and bass are nicely balanced in the mix so you here both, along with clear vox and drum pounding. The mix gives the tunes more depth and power.
the funny thing about the cartoon was i was completely unaware of it and the line started off by saying the band name SOUNDED like it could be the name for a late 80's cartoon... fortunately i did a google search.