Review Summary: Beastmilk have created an irradiated gem, forged in the fires of a dying world.
Immediately when the first song is launched off one is caught by the sense of something eminently well-done: the song-writing manages to salute the past greats, without being captured by them. Old British punk, Joy Division, The Cure and The Killing joke are the more easily discovered points of comparison. But Beastmilk is a leviathan of a different caliber entirely, it shrugs off the chains of category effortlessly and works its alchemy with, among others, black metal and post-rock.
The artfully unpolished production of the record works excellently with the post-apocalyptic theme that is covered by the lyrics. Everything is destroyed, scoured away by Nuclear Winter, but a germ of something greater and infinitely more aware remains: the groove of the survivor. The survivor has left behind all pretense and vanity, he is as scarred as the music he creates. The fires of a dying world have etched themselves unto his wreck of a soul. His musical offspring is rock'n'roll, burnt to a crisp, that finds the strength to go on in the intense and mutating glow of radiation. He composes his soundtrack to the apocalypse, not to please, but to share his pain. He is the historian, reminding us of our past hubris and subsequent errors. We have destroyed, we have reaved, we have slaughtered; but are we eternally doomed to repeat our mistakes?
Climax is an off-kilter masterpiece, a true homage to the futility of human strugglings; we do all die anyway. But in the end one is left with a sliver of hope. In the forlorn but resolute words of the singer Kvohst: "Holding on to love in a cold world/I'm holding on to love/Crying out in a dead universe/I'm holding on to love"