Beastwars
IV


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
June 29th, 2019 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Battling the illness and the road to recovery…

In 2016, after releasing the aptly titled full length, The Death of All Things, one of the most consistent and powerful acts in the stoner/sludge metal spheres called it quits. The three LPs we had received by then were excellent affairs that catapulted Beastwars to the forefront of these genres. I didn’t expect them to return, at least not so fast, but I was stoked to listen to IV as soon as it was announced. The story behind it isn’t that beautiful though. The catalyst for the reunion was vocalist Matt Hyde’s battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, whose remission made this album’s creation possible. Luckily for everyone, the group managed to reconcile and deliver another massive epic.

Musically, IV continues Beastwars’ sonic evolution, searching for the heaviest grooves, complete with several moody passages. Occasional low key moments are featured, although less prevalent here than on The Death of All Things. On their latest record, the band focused on exorcising their demons, especially Hyde, whose lyrics often describe the numbness, terror and confusion in his mind during chemotherapy. Tunes such as ‘Raise the Sword’, ‘Sound of the Grave’ and ‘Storms of Mars’ share a very dense atmosphere. The former’s bellic attitude is supported by scorching, doom-infused riffs and chugs. It’s a slow opener, however, it sets a fitting tone for what’s next. The uncanny ‘Sound of the Grave’ displays how hard is to maintain hope in such challenging moments in life, whereas ‘Storms of Mars’ got me closest to shedding a tear. Lyrics like “Let me live, give me 10 more years, let me see the stars […] I want to be alive to see my child grow” are wrapped in a cosmic twist, so you can read them as a hyperbolic story as well. Nevertheless, there’s a justified, naked fear that characterizes a good chunk of the record and this track might be the most touching. The vibe is augmented by Matt, who’s ripping his vocal chords over ponderous riffage as if there is no tomorrow.

In between the cuts mentioned above lies 'Wolves and Prey' with its dirty, fuzzy, pile driving bass lines. As expected, potent drumming & guitar interplay join in to tear down the walls. Moreover, Beastwars continue to fire on all cylinders on ‘Omens’, boasting a hellish main riff, one of the hardest hitting in their catalog in my opinion. Luckily, they worked on dynamics too, unleashing their fury in waves. The guitar & faint piano leads surfacing halfway grant the song a more melodic layer too, nicely diversifying the overall sound. Towards the end of IV, the band tones things down a bit, as ‘The Traveller’ grows from restrained chord picking to interesting, fragmented rhythms. Returning to what they do best, the soaring coda is drenched in fuzz and Matt’s robust screams. ‘Like Dried Blood’ puts things to a close in a touching manner, using cold piano lines as well as clean vocals on the first half. The quartet ends the album on a high note, cranking the distortion one more time for an epic finale. While there are some clear highlights on the LP, each tune has depth and groove to grab your attention. I’m very glad the band reconvened so fast, because they wrongfully called it a day at their peak. Also, I am happy Matt is alive and kicking, so they can continue exploring their ideas and chemistry as a unit.




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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2019


4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an excellent album and not just because it has a heavy story behind it. Listen to it!



'Storms of Mars' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_Ieh5Er3aw

'Omens' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9UaE-ZVwLk

'Raise the Sword' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l0Yb9BRkEE

Digging: Torche - Admission

Nagrarok
June 29th 2019


8598 Comments


Don't actually listen to a lot of sludge metal but always really liked this particular band, I'm glad to see they're back. Definitely have to check this out.

Papa Universe
June 29th 2019


22127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can't wait to dig into this. glad Matt's back in the game

grannypantys
June 29th 2019


2033 Comments


a pleasant surprise

CaimanJesus
June 29th 2019


3747 Comments


Didn't realize they were back

Digging: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All the Time

RogueNine
June 29th 2019


3964 Comments


New Beastwars, heck yeah.

FadedSun
June 29th 2019


1997 Comments


Album cover looks sweet. Band name is...acceptable.

GhostB1rd
June 29th 2019


3183 Comments


Cover art may have single handedly shot this onto my radar.

JS19
June 29th 2019


7222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I am so pumped for this

Digging: Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions

bloc
June 29th 2019


56334 Comments


Need to rewatch this show tbh

Digging: UNKLE - Psyence Fiction

rodrigo90
June 29th 2019


5418 Comments


Need to rewatch this show tbh


Me too.

I have 2 optimus and I used to have cheetah, but it broke up, sadly.

Kurai
June 30th 2019


302 Comments


Maximals, Maximise!

JS19
June 30th 2019


7222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This absolutely rips holy crap

Icesky
June 30th 2019


7 Comments


Is it that good as well? Nice

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2019


4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it's one of their best records.

DDDeftoneDDD
June 30th 2019


5807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Sorry guys...enlighten me...if there s any chance this sounds like HoF and L Mantis all together I m all in!

Digging: Bizu Coolective - Talkback

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2019


4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a mix of sludge and stoner metal more or less. Matt's voice surpasses Pike's snarls and the riffs are heavy and more mid-tempo. Listen to 'Omens', it's a good song to make an idea how they sound.

DDDeftoneDDD
June 30th 2019


5807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Damn man...I was allready listening meanwhile...it looks more like YOB. I was kinda meh 2 tracks in..and then as I was reading your rev, Storm from Mars hit me hard m/ tks

AdolfChrist
June 30th 2019


21518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course this is good. Goddamn, that opener fucks. Can feel the passion, can feel the effect Matt's illness had on this record, glad he's doing better m/

Digging: Vulture (DE) - Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2019


4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it's more towards YOB and less Lord Mantis. Storms of Mars hit me the hardest as well, especially watching the video with Matt bald and beardless.



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