My introduction to Danish death metal beasts of BAEST happened the showcase festival Eurosonic in the Netherlands this year. The energetic and brutal live shows of these youngsters was nothing short of impressive, so when hearing about this debut record, ‘Danse Macabre’, it was definetly something I had to check out.
The album kicks off with “Crosswhore”, a heavy and catchy, mid tempo track, a good beat and what probably makes the song: great guitar melodies and riffs. Along with the varied, and hellish sounding “Atra Mors”, they’re the most memorable tunes on ‘Danse Macabre’. Vocalist Simon Olsen’s low, guttural vocals are one thing I remember from the band’s show and on the record they sound just as astounding. The overall production of the album fits the classic atmosphere the five piece wants to convey: clean, but with a nice filthy, old school sound layer on top of it.
Songs such as title track “Danse Macabre” and “Crosswhore”, have an undeniable Bloodbath worship vibe to them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (because who doesn’t love Bloodbath) but to such a strong degree that I often wondered if I wasn’t actually listening to the Swedish death metal band. Also, at some points, for example on “Hecatomb”, ‘Danse Macabre’ simply falls in the pit of sounding like a run of the mill death metal group, which to me is the biggest weak point of this album.
The competition BAEST has this year is tough, batteling with releases of Deicide, Hate Eternal, Bloodbath, Carnation, Aborted and a lot more. Nevertheless, ‘Danse Macabre’ is exactly the type of record that fans of (old school) death metal will enjoy, due to its perfect mix of brutality, groove and a classic sound. It has enough power to make a good impression, get noticed by the fans, and stand among the output of the other death metal monoliths. The Danes may need to search and explore a bit more to find their own, distinctive mark, and time will tell how they develop.
Words by Laetitia
Release date: August 17, 2018
Label: Century Media
3. Danse Macabre
4. Atra Mors
5. Messe Macabre
8. Ego Te Absolvo