Remember when Airbourne first came out, and people immediately compared them to AC/DC? A band of four guys, two are brothers, who sounded like they’d listened to the first five AC/DC albums a lot? Well, this is Beastmaker. They have listened to the first five Black Sabbath albums more than you have. The singer sounds like Ozzy, and the songs sound like outtakes from ‘Vol 4’ or perhaps ‘Master of Reality’. Their lyrics are horror themed. They are on tour with Zakk Sabbath, Zakk’s Black Sabbath tribute band.
In fairness, trying to outdo the human riff that is Tony Iommi is no mean feat, and these guys do it well. Trevor Church handles both guitars and vocals, and really does nail both. There is a good variety of tunes here, they simply all follow the same blueprint. They do go beyond the heaviness and also touch on the jazz stylings that Tony Iommi brought to Sabbath. The band is tight and everyone does a great job of filling their space and driving the music forward. The odd snippet of horror movie dialogue would be original if not for Rob Zombie. If you are on a limited budget, this is not a classic. If you buy a lot of metal, you probably want to buy this and you will probably enjoy it.
To be clear, there are worse things to listen to or hope to be. And it’s a great thing about metal that we don’t forget where we came from. While Adam Ant tours to the last few people who remember buying his album new, bands like Maiden continue to attract a young fan base. This is their second full album. For now, if you love Black Sabbath and you’d like to hear some music in that vein, these guys do it, and do it well. Hopefully, like Airbourne, the find their own sound in time. For now, they describe themselves as Sabbath meets Danzig. It’s good, but it’s not special. Hopefully in time they move past being a pastiche of a great band, and become a great band themselves.