Ghouls Of The Endless Night
posted on 11/2011 By:
If you can stomach the idea that Sunlight-style death metal circa 2011 is less a living genre and a more a delivery system for interpreting Discharge or Entombed / Dismember songs, then I think Bastard Priest has made an album you'll consider tolerable in Ghouls of the Endless Night.
Bastard Priest do Entombed 17 years after Entombed got tired of doing Entombed, minus the creative ingenuity that attends being among the first wave of bands to do something. More than a decade after the release of Bloodbath's Breeding Death EP, this is an increasingly less admirable mission statement. Bastard Priest doesn't invite the listener to invest in its compositions, so much as it begs admiration for a faithful adherence to form. To that end, it succeeds. The tone, created by producer Fred Etsby (ex-Dismember) is more rockslide than buzzsaw--a perfect conjuration of Left Hand Path, beefed up to modern standards. Bastard Priest employs that tone to hammer out knowingly knuckle-headed barroom hardcore, rounded out by scraggy, pointless solos. Though "Sacrilegious Ground" dabbles in melodic tremolo riffing, Bastard Priest predominantly deals in four-on-floor barre chord progressions. The selling point of these songs, it seems, is that that they were written and recorded on the fly--leaving the spirit of improvisation and bottle-smashing energy intact.
But for all the off-the-cuff spontaneity with regards to performance, Ghouls of the Endless Night lacks the pumping heart of artistic investment. Listeners don't need to be reminded of what Sunlight-style death metal sounds like (the canon of tribute albums is probably larger than the original crop, after all), but it might be nice to hear a band try to do something different with this enduring sound. By not venturing into that territory, Bastard Priest has created something functional but has failed to animate it creatively.
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