Like trying to pick a fight with Mike Tyson in his prime, Venenum, the new album from Denmark’s Baest, goes straight for the kill and knocks you flat on your arse with a swiftly delivered uppercut in the first twenty seconds of album opener ‘Vitriol Lament’. The rest of the album fills you with pain, dread and despair while you desperately try to regain consciousness and wonder if you’ll ever walk again.
What follows is a relentless combination of riffs, solos and blast beats. Sometimes it sounds like Bloodbath, sometimes it sounds like Vader and sometimes the vocals have a bit of Nile about them. It’s almost as if Baest have taken all the best techniques of the heavyweights of death metal and rolled them into nine rounds of brutal battery. Discounting the instrumental track ‘Styx’ which comes across as if Baest have dropped their guard somewhat in favour of a “look at us, we actually have feelings” moment, it’s no wonder Baest are supporting goregrind champs Aborted on their upcoming euro tour – you get the distinct impression these challengers could be gunning for the belt soon enough!
If you survive this one, and that’s a big if, it’ll be by the skin of your teeth. Expected to be battered and bruised and to hurt in places you didn’t know existed. Once you can open your eyes again, keep them on Baest because they sound like they’re set for big things going forward.
Venenum is out 13th September via Century Media Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Luke Davison