Bestialord was formed in 2016 by vocalist/guitarist Mark Anderson (Manilla Road, Sanctus Infernum) and drummer Chris Johnson (Sanctus Infernum), with the line-up rounded out by bassist Rob Harris. Their debut album Law Of The Burning showcases their unique style described as Occult Horror Doom, and one listen clearly showcases their influences which includes Celtic Frost, Candlemass, Morbid Angel, and Mercyful Fate.
The album launches head first in to their take on an atmospheric death metal sound layered over a heavy doom foundation. The first song, The Doom That Came, starts with a teasing instrumental opener full of atmosphere, before launching into a heavy, doom-laden sound. Mark Anderson’s vocals have that traditional growl sound, yet are clear and audible. The middle of the song features a killer, thrashy guitar solo that will have you head-banging along. The second track “Vermin” really solidifies the bands sound. The blackened doom sound is stronger with some great key and pace changes to keep things interesting and another guitar solo. The drums really stand out on this track as they are faster paced, with some solid blast beats.
All Fall Down opens with some sound bites of an angry crowd accompanied by an acoustic guitar instrumental. This leads into a song that has a heavier more epic feel that fans of very early 80’s extreme metal will love. The lyrics stray into themes of social destruction, which is highlighted by a vocal style that is getting raspier and more death metal sounding. There is an almost power metal element to this song that really draws you in. The track really picks up towards the end and draws the listener in. This leads in to the title track of “The Law Of Burning” in which the band really hit their stride. The vocals are a stand out, along with an excellent bass line. The band have figured out their sound and really improve on it showing some great musicianship. Every track has featured a guitar solo but this one has an epic, almost symphonic quality. The song is faster paced and you can’t help but find yourself growling and air guitaring along. Definitely my pick as the stand out track on this album.
The following three tracks: Marduk Kurios, I Am Pain and Loathed by the Name really solidifies the bands sound. Lyrical themes of war and death abound with a touch of a fantasy/occult element. In each song the band tries something new whilst sticking to their core atmospheric death-touched doom genre. Heavy choruses buffeted by spirited guitar solos, clear yet gutteral vocals and some very heavy drum work abound. There is nothing truly ground-breaking but each song draws you in and keeps your interest.
We see a slower pace being adopted with Above The Vaulted Sky. The symphonic instrumental over nature sounds in this tracks opening really grab your attention, as does the songs womanly subject matter. The pace is slower yet heavier with a building feel throughout. The band try for something different here and it really works, showcasing the skills if the members. They continue this ambitious fell with the closing track What Is The End. The bass line really stands out on this track as the song takes on a more epic, power metal feel. This track is designed to draw you in, keep your interest and get you rocking along. It does this well, ending the album on a real high note.
Law Of The Burning is a very solid effort from some clearly talented musicians. They know the sound they are after and really work to bring that to the listener, taking them on a journey. A great harbinger of things to come for Bestialord. If you are someone who likes to break out the greatest hits of the early 80s extreme metal scene, this album is for you.
Pre-Order your own copy of Law of The Burning HERE!