Beastwars Beastwars

This was originally self-released back in May of 2011 in Beastwars' home country of New Zealand. While this record came from humble beginnings, the labour of love earned the band quite a bit of attention, including a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 2011 Vodaphone New Zealand Music Awards. Now, Beastwars is finally seeing a worldwide release from Destroy Records and EMI, bringing the Kiwi metallers a much wider audience. Their take on doomy stoner metal is downtuned to the point of being almost uncomfortably distorted, evoking Kyuss or a messier High on Fire, but the urgent, throbbing rhythms keep the songs from unravelling. While the tone might be fuzzed-out and smoky, the instrumentation is surprisingly tight, from the snarling, snarky guitars to the precise, jangly drumming. Matt Hyde's vocals are the centerpiece that makes this album stand out. From a low, husky, almost sensuous croon to demented wailing to harsh and abrasive screams, his performance is varied and compelling. In particular, Hyde's vocals on "Mihi" are spine tingling. Beastwars absolutely deserve the wider audience they now have the opportunity to reach. (EMI)