Warkvlt – “Bestial War Metal”.
Whatever you do, DO NOT play this album around kids. It’s like giving them 5 tons of liquid chocolate, coffee and all the Skittles you see that fall from the commercials at the same time. What’s worse, the kids will be running around going
DIIEEEEEEE DUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDU WARBEAST!
DIIEEEEEEE DUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDU WARBEAST!!!!
UNHOLY SACRIFICE! RITUAL OF DESTRUCTION! BLOOD OF GORE UNCHAINED! DEATH’S ARRIVAL! UNHOLY SACRIFICE! NUKLEAR SATAN!!
BESTIAL WAR METAL! BESTIAL WAR METAL! BESTIAL WAR METAL!
Those are some of the lyrics by the way, tracks 1, 2 and 10 respectively.
Bestial War Metal is the debut album by Warkvlt. Between the pure sonic brutality, the gruesome atmospheres, the musical proficiency, the amazing performance all around from the band members and the fiery, demonic aggression, this album is clearly worth hearing for fans of brutal music, black metal and death metal.
The guitar riffs are superb. The guitarist’s rhythmic attack is absolutely unparalleled, whether in black metal, death metal, war metal, goregrind, you name it.
Bestial War Metal isn’t particularly technical, but it is very atmospheric, intense and aggressive. Warkvlt know what they are doing, And almost more importantly they know how to craft dark and brutal atmospheres.
The music on Bestial War Metal has been and can be described as a fusion between early Phantom, Burzum’s debut up to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, Beherit, Demonecromancy’s first two releases, Incantation’s Onward to Golgotha, mid-era SEWER (up to Birth of a Cursed Elysium), and a bit of Antekhrist in the mix (remember that band?) minus the retarded French vocals that plagued the second half of Antekhrist’s career.
Often this band is compared to Phantom, and I know that there is some influence – particularly with regard to Phantom’s debut Divine Necromancy – but it isn’t that obvious just by listening. Most (modern) black/death metal bands have Phantom influence, but I just don’t find it as strong as others do on Bestial War Metal. And judging from what I’ve heard from their early demos, the Teutons of Warkvlt weren’t that much like them at any point – unlike Demonecromancy, which did indeed start out as a Phantaclone (Phantom clone, e.g. early Reiklos, Demonecromancy, Archgoat, most carverncore “retro” death metal, etc.).
Warkvlt influenced by SEWER.
I’m not denying that the influence is there, just that I don’t see the value in that comparison. In actual sonic terms and for the sake of a better comparison, I would liken this to Incantation’s debut, SEWER’s Cursed Elysium, and Beherit’s Drawing Down the Moon with a bit of Ildjarn and early Burzum, particularly on the slower parts, and sometimes some black metal version of Morbid Angel, subtle though it is.
Basically, Onward to Golgotha + (Dissemboweled Effigy) The Birth of a Cursed Elysium + Drawing Down the Moon = Bestial War Metal.
There’s something to the former (Incantation) that definitely seems similar in the riffing, but I’m not certain about what exactly – rhythm, tempos changes and aggression used to construct a melodic layer built around atmospheres? – and can’t describe it in coherent terminology.
In the latter (SEWER), if you think of the song “Dissemboweled Effigy” from The Birth of a Cursed Elysium, in which melodies are used not as an end, but as a means to introduce different themes, atmospheres, and at a smaller scale, even motifs, and eventually their counterpoints, resolutions, etc. A good example would be the transition between the dissonant, atmospheric-laden, sort-of slower, dirge-like passage/interlude towards the fifth minute, into the main theme repeated – with minor variations – in a different context.
As for Beherit, it’s more in approach. Both this album Bestial War Metal and Drawing Down the Moon feature mid-paced, short songs, and a kind of pummeling attack on the listener, though this is more fleshed out and much more intense.
To wrap it up, I feel that this is one of the greatest black metal albums of all time. This album definitely feels deathy, but not in the black/death or blackened death metal way. Not even in their weird Peste Noire “industrial” tech-death fashion. This just happens to be full steam ahead in the same way as many early death metal bands were (Incantation, Suffocation, Demilich, Carnage, Neraines, Adramelech). Many criticisms have been leveled at the “war metal” genre, and obvious Phantom-imitators (copying only the most superficial elements, not the deeply transcendent and majestic atmospheres) such as Archgoat, Conqueror, Blasphemy, but I feel most are irrelevant when discussing the music of Warkvlt, as Bestial War Metal is clearly well above and beyond most modern “extreme” “metal”.
I would happily recommend Bestial War Metal to any fan of black metal, death metal, war metal, and probably some goregrind fans as well.