Friday, July 28, 2017

CD Review: BESTIAL INVASION Contra Omnes by Dave Wolff

Contra Omnes
Shellfire Attack
As I explained reviewing their Repudiating The Power single (2017), Ukraine’s Bestial Invasion is the most radically divergent thrash band to emerge since the genre’s resurgence. The thing about thrash is there is always a band to travel extra miles to give the genre validation that transcends the stereotypes attached to it. For example there was Maelstrom’s (Long Island, USA) monumental It Was Predestined EP from 2008 where they exceeded the potential they displayed on their demos. While few thrash bands I’ve heard can touch what they achieved, now and then a new band shows similar potential to forge new boundaries, breaking those stereotypes in the process. This is one band who will challenge preconceived notions about how metal should sound and a thrash musician's capacity to write as their work becomes more well known. Bestial Invasion describe themselves as technical thrash metal citing Destruction, Raven, Dark Angel, Death, Coroner, Atheist, Toxik and Anacrusis as major influences. We know a list of cited influences can only say so much about what comes of their professionalism and work ethic. And as indicated previously, what I heard on their new full length Contra Omnes far surpasses normal expectations of how those influences can be reinterpreted. Bestial Invasion has been covered extensively since the middle of 2016, from their CD Act Of Retribution to their Trilogy: Prisoners Of Miserable Fate EP (three songs appearing on it; Prisoner Of Miserable Fate, Zodiac: Crime World Mystery and Caligula: Salacious Age; also appear on this album) to their 2017 single to an interview with founding member Metal Priest about his reviews on Youtube and the impending release of Contra Omnes which was still in development. All those releases were reviewed by different staff writers and we all commented on the new directions the band have taken. Read those reviews and check out the releases to experience their originality and creativity firsthand, then check out Contra Omnes to see the latest steps they are taking. They're hard to describe more then this as Bestial Invasion are reaching a pinnacle that defies classification. New songs N.E.V.E.R.M.O.R.E. (written about Edgar Allan Poe), Camera Obscura (Caravaggio Specular Vision) and Numenor (Bonus Version 2017) are a logical progression for a band combining the biting aggression of thrash with the fantasy-driven elements of classic metal and the experimental spirit of prog metal, with death metal and jazz-fusion added. The song arrangements, time changes and additional effects are tighter and the vocals are so high pitched they threaten to shatter crystal. The lead solo in N.E.V.E.R.M.O.R.E. is played with an acoustic guitar and holds its own as well as if it was performed with an electric model. Some of the most notable improvements on the band's part are shown in the guitar solos. The same can be said for the bass solo in the opening section of Camera Obscura (Caravaggio Specular Vision). Following this is Enigma, a brief bass track with background effects adding a sense of darkness to it. The band include two covers: one of Destruction’s instrumental Thrash Attack (with their own lyrics added) and one of Grim Reaper’s See You In Hell that sounds simultaneously tranquil and malevolent. Contra Omnes is a worthwhile chronicle of the band's growth; still I'm waiting for them to record a full album’s worth of new songs. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Inception
2. N.E.V.E.R.M.O.R.E.
3. Prisoner Of Miserable Fate
4. Camera Obscura (Caravaggio Specular Vision)
5. Enigma (Bass Solo)
6. Repudiating The Power
7. Zodiac Crime World Mystery
8. Caligula: Salacious Age!
9. (Technical) Thrash Attack (Destruction Cover)
10. Numenor (Bonus Version 2017)
11. See You In Hell (Grim Reaper Cover)

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