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BAEST Necro Sapiens

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 @ 12:08 AM


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BAEST
Necro Sapiens

Century Media




Danish quintet BAEST offer up a fittingly monstrous third album with Necro Sapiens. Recalling MORBID ANGEL, AMON AMARTH, ENTOMBED and KATAKLYSM, among others, though without directly mimicking any of them, Necro Sapiens is a bruising effort that delivers equal parts technical dazzle, old school bludgeon and grit, contemporary groove, a bit of gory nastiness and even the odd flurry of black metal that showcases versatility, but never at the expense of heaviosity, which is considerable.

The hammer and anvil pounding that kicks off the instrumental opener “The Forge” is a sign of what’s to come here, and the band drops the proverbial sonic hammer soon there after and keeps swinging away with a vengeance the rest of the way, with frontman Simon Olsen leading the charge. With his naturally burly, raspy baritone, Olsen possesses one of the great death metal voices, a la David Vincent, Johan Hegg or VADER’s Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek. And it gives the band’s already punishing sound the extra oomph to really make it hurt.

“Genesis” gets things started for real by bringing just about everything mentioned in the opening graph to bear, along with a doomy stomp for good measure, and might have been better positioned a bit deeper in the album, since it takes a while to uncoil given its complexity and scale. The barnstorming title track that follows is more befitting a lead-off track, as its double-bass gallop and grinding riffs launch at the get-go to really give things a boot in the ass coming out of the intro.

Oh well, an opportunity lost.

Despite their low-brow titles, “Goregasm”, “Meathook Massacre” and “Sea Of Vomit” are anything but the dumb, choke-and-puke gore metal they might lead you to expect. “Meathook Massacre” is a chugging rager with a careening yet catchy chorus. “Goregasm” offers loads of crushing grooves and widdly-twiddly lead flourishes a la Bill & Ted. “Sea Of Vomit” closing the album out with a thundering, majestic brood reminiscent of MORBID ANGEL’s “Where The Slime Lives”, something that can also be said of “Purification Through Mutilation” earlier on.

“Towers Of Suffocation” ratchets up the technicality with its shape-shifting tempos, turbulent tangle of riffs and screeching sweeps and an unexpected boot-stomp breakdown straight out of the PANTERA song book. Similarly, “Abattoir” circles back to the “everyone in the pool” philosophy of “Genesis” with black metal trems and MAIDEN-like guitar harmonies elbowing their way into the bombast.

“Czar” is really the only song here that doesn’t quite connect, as its slog and gallop back and forth never gains the momentum it seems building to nor settles into full-blown death doom mode, which perhaps would have made it more interesting. As it is, it just seems like it can’t make up its fucking mind.

But that is a minor hiccup, and there is really not that much to complain about on Necro Sapiens. It is as rock solid a death metal album as you could want. The heaving riffs, rumbling rhythms and Olsen’s commanding roar deliver a wall of sound that surges and ebbs, but never abates. And, as noted earlier, its heaviness really should not be understated.

3.5 Out Of 5.0


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