|Album:||Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads|
|Release Date:||12th of February, 2021|
|Released via||Translation Loss Records|
|Cover Artwork ©||Translation Loss Records|
California is spitting out one good band after another at the moment, and it’s especially exciting when it comes to Hardcore Punk and Death Metal. The second one has strong supply ready again with Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads – the debut album of LA based Swampbeast. The West Coast trio had me hooked back in the day with the Path to Oasis demo, their first musical output, which I fervently devoured a few times. The question often arises as to how bands with a magnificent short release sound at full album length. But Swampbeast deliver mercilessly here and show that their sound is just as good on a full-length as it is on a demo or EP.
After a mercilessly bludgeoning opener with “Orc’s Anvil” picks us up here and throws us directly into the coming inferno of the album. It should be clear that Swampbeast will probably not take any prisoners on Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads. The fact that the foundation of the songs consists of cracking, angry Black/Death quickly becomes obvious in the further course, although there are also some other influences to marvel at, which can always make the outline and the blistering inferno exciting and varied. The Californians spice their sound with crusty elements, sludgy stomping passages and associated tempo changes, which provide strong contrasts and one or another memorable passage due to the otherwise consistently thrashing sound. Especially the viscious mosh parts get stuck there quickly and seem particularly ill-tempered despite slower tempo. These influences are brought out most strongly on the track “Thy Flesh Sustained“ so to me it’s by far the best of the album, and if it were up to me, there could be a few more songs of the same size on here.
But thanks to an excellent production on Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads and the thereby particularly massive sounding instrumentals, the many wrecking balls also score in continuous fire and can also transfer their rage to the listener with it without restriction. In addition to the nasty roaring vocals, which are mainly reminiscent of mangy Crust Punk, the drumming in particular stands out. The snare sounds really malicious in almost every song and is very concise throughout, which gives the songs an oppressive sound right from the start. But also the beat changes between blasts, furiously fast D-Beat and wicked downtempo parts are seamlessly linked here and pummel into the auditory canals, especially with merciless bass drum and swirling cymbal playing. Additionally, the guitar playing sounds so grim that it teaches you fear. Mainly you meet low, gloomy sawing riffs, as it is currently common in Death Metal, but sometimes Swampbeast also let dissonant features emerge, which impress a futuristic, apocalyptic image on the sound. The aggressiveness of the riffing is especially evident through the alternation between sawing, drilling and squealing sounds, and on top of that it always pushes in metallic, siren-like melodies that sound abysmally evil and are no less striking than the aforementioned tinny snare drum. In my opinion the melodies can probably best be described as ominous, as they are usually caught up and replaced by particularly angry parts.
In short, Swampbeast are musically somewhere between the highly praised Bestial Hymns of Perversion by Of Feather & Bone and Incantation at their millennium phase, but clearly more influenced by Malevolent Creation mosh sound than many other representatives who currently present this kind of Black/Death. For me personally, this is probably the biggest plus point of this album, because these endless outbursts after several runs somehow always end in a certain monotony to me, where I only care about the general aggressiveness itself and can no longer separate different musical aspects properly. In addition, the notorious, hazy West Coast vibe that resonates here subliminally is also not to be despised and does the rest to get out of the sound any malice.
Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads was released on February 12 via Translation Loss Records and offers different color versions of the vinyl, some of which are already out of stock, so if you want to get your hands on a physical version, don’t hesitate too long. Not only musically, the record is worth the purchase, because the presentation and the sensational cover is convincing as well. If you lose yourself in the artwork while listening to the album, the record unfolds its full depth and is incredibly captivating.
If you want to plunge into an inferno of disturbing noises that will scare and despair you, while there are slaps in continuous loop, Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads is exactly the right address. Swampbeast lay down a debut album that makes you feel like you’re inside a futuristic battle whose full destructive power can carry over for 36 minutes. Crusty Black/Death with a lot of mosh, good song structures and enough instrumental variety ensure that these Californians can stand out a little from the currently overflowing genre pot, even if they of course do not completely reinvent the sound. Massive, terrifying and compared to the demo again a lot more multifaceted and therefore you should not underestimate Swampbeast in the near future in any case!
“The Blind God”
“Thy Flesh Sustained”