Four years after the release of their debut album, technical death metal newcomers Alterbeast have unleashed their complex and savage followup, Feast. The band's fusion of intricate musicianship, haunting piano lines and groove-oriented death metal makes for a refreshing take on the genre.
Opener "Welcome to Your Doom" sets the pace for the record with a beautiful piano intro that leads to sweeping solos, shredding death metal riffs and machine gun drumming. Vocalist Michael Alvarez may be a new addition to the band, but he showcases his wide range of shrieks and growls expertly right from the get-go.
The album's best moments come when the band focus on melodic guitar work and devastating beatdown sections without relying on mindless technicality. Tracks such as "The Maggots Ascension" or "Vile Skin Possession" feature insanely intricate soloing while never relying on it as the song's basis. The album highlight comes on "Apex Night Eclipse," which features captivating grooves, machine-like drum work and an underlying piano track that drives the song's momentum alongside Alvarez chanting "666!"
It can be difficult to stand out in the sea of technical death metal bands, but Feast sets Alterbeast up to become leaders of the genre. While the record has a few moments that fall flat, overall it's a fantastic look at an evolving band with a lot of potential. (Unique Leader)