Published Apr 22, 2016When they released their self-titled debut in 2011, New Zealand sludge lovers Beastwars began an epic trilogy of post-apocalyptic concept albums. Continued with 2013's excellent Blood Becomes Fire, that album cycle comes to its conclusion with The Death of All Things, a worthy successor and excellent final chapter.
While unquestionably crushing and relentlessly dense, their cerebral, slightly psychedelic and sludge-inflected doom is also surprisingly nimble. They manage to conjure a depth and intensity that you can feel in your marrow, and that bone-vibrating, tectonic heaviness continues to be one of the highlights of The Death of All Things. Where the other records in the series were perhaps more emotive, somewhere between reflective and wallowing in their density, this record has more of a lurching panic to it. The songs feel desperate: "Call to the Mountain" feels like a massive engine of destruction shambling to life, while "Devils of Last Night" has an eerie panic, as if pursued by demons. The emotional core of the record is "The Devil Took Her," something between a world-crushing love song and a murder ballad, with haunting strings shimmering across the landscape.
The Death of All Things is a fire and brimstone sermon for the end of the world that leaves the listener stripped, delightfully terrified and ready to repent. (Destroy Records)