Saturday, March 23, 2013

Into the Void: Bestail Devastation

Sepultura - Bestial Devastation EP (Dec, 1985)

What? Sepultura? No, they're a thrash band! And Morbid Visions is kind of a proto-death album. Yeah, well, this isn't Morbid Visions, is it? Look, if you don't believe that Sepultura was a black metal band in 1985, I dare you to watch this video, then tell me I'm full of shit (thanks to Invisible Oranges for bringing it to my attention). Not counting Sabbat, who would quickly ditch their fourth member, this quartet of Brazilians are the first non-trio we've encountered on our journey. And look, they've even got awesome stage names—Possessed, Skullcrusher, Destructor, and Tormentor. Max Cavalera was only 16 at that time this album came out (released as a split in 1985 with fellow Brazillians Overdose, and as a stand-alone EP in 1990).

And my god, what music. It does start with a retarded little spoken intro about Satan and the Lords of Death (I am sure I've mentioned how stupid I find this trend), but then "Bestial Devestation" expodes from the speakers. Those tremolo riffs! Those vocals! It could almost be a Mayhem song. You can definitely hear the thrash and death sounds in here, but that's metal for you. But the real highlight is "Antichrist." I couldn't believe it when I heard it the first time. Well, hell-o! It's the first proper blast beat that we've heard yet. The only earlier recorded example I can find of a blast beat is S.O.D.'s "Milk," which came out 4 months earlier (and is slower than Skullcrusher's beat). There are only two other tracks—"Necromancer" and "Warriors of Death—and they continue in the same vein. Raw, 100% intense heavy metal. Sepultura have something here that no other band had yet captured, even the great Bathory. That's what comes of growing up in an oppresive society. In their pictures from the time, the band looks like little kids. They don't sound like it.

Final Verdict: 7/10 - four tracks, 15 minutes. A whole new sound. It's unbelievable that the same man who brought us this gave us Soulfly only 11 years later.

And that's 1985 wrapped up! I only have two albums on my list for 1986, and then we start getting into the really good stuff. The second wave (TRVE black metal) is approaching!

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