Monday, February 17, 2014

Bane of Bedlam: Monument of Horror (2013)

Ah, Australian thrash metal.  I should be more clear.  This is not a band that would fit in with Destroyer 666, Abominator, or the rest of the war metal scene.  No, Bane of Bedlam is a fairly straightforward thrash metal band.  No black metal influences here, though there are some death metal influences based on the extremity of the sound.

Bane of Bedlam is a very rhythmic thrash metal band.  Their riffs are not terribly melodic, nor is there much melody to be found here at all.  There are a few guitar solos, but not as many as other thrash groups, and typically the riffs are a little lacking in dynamics.  Nevertheless, this is absolutely brutal for thrash metal.  The songs speed by like a runaway locomotive, but with a surprising amount of precision in the riffing style.  The vocals are reminiscent of early Mille Petrozza, only a little more gruff (that's saying something).  They are far more closely related to melodic death metal than thrash metal.  The band seems to draw most of their thrash metal influence from the German scene, it is a far more brutal and intense form of thrash metal.

The songs on this release are typically longer, with only one track clocking in at less than five minutes.  This leaves plenty of time to throw in as many riffs as possible.  And Bane of Bedlam certainly excel at that.  Like the best albums from Dark Angel, this is a non-stop riff-fest from start to finish.

The most impressive moment is toward the end of "Atrocity Divine" where the band really switches things up.  This is one of the few moments where the melody really comes through.  The band goes into a brief acoustic interlude then transforms into a guitar melody reminiscent of early Iron Maiden with some classical-style picking and a driving drum beat.  It is an incredibly pretty moment in an otherwise rough and brutal album.  One that really stands out because of how unexpected it is.

Bane of Bedlam is yet another band just now releasing their debut album.  But I have to say, this is one hell of an impressive one.  If you like thrash with a lot of riffs, this is for you.

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