Bast : Spectres

Bast CB

Bast’s Spectres album impressed us no end about this time last year, weighing in as one of the heaviest albums of the year. 2014 was a doom filled one, but this album stood the test and was one of CackBlabbath’s favourite doom albums of the year come December. We caught them on the road at Damnation Festival and now as the band prepare for another year of hard work, ‘Spectres’ has been re-released on fancy gold vinyl for the collectors and those who may have missed out the first time around…

So we’re rewinding to last January to see what we thought of ‘Spectres’ in our original review…

‘Spectres’ may well be the first release from Black Bow Records but it comes from an in-form stable, or Skyhammers Studios if you want to leave the horse racing terminology out of it. Produced by in-house seismology expert Chris Fielding, who has also produced the goods for the likes of Conan, Moss and other purveyors of colossal riffs; this album has winner stamped on it before we’ve even started.

Bast cook up a dark and stormy cocktail of gargantuan doom, noxious black metal and some towering post metal riffs. The London trio have been knocking around for quite a few years but this is their debut record. It’s quite an entrance too…

It’s only five tracks long but as you would expect from a doom record there’s some monster tracks on here. A couple go into double figures and there’s no three minute chart botherers in sight. It’s by no means a slog through five monotonous doom pieces though. ‘Spectres’ is an album of contrasts and there’s plenty of different ground covered across the album.

The Pelican-esque riffs that chug into ‘In The Beginning’ relent for some throat tearing blackened vocals. It’s not long before some huge goliath style vocals take the song off into doomier territories and the frenzy of black metal makes way for the trudge of doom riffs. It’s a neat little capture of Bast’s sound but if you think they’ve shown all their cards at once, you’d be wrong.

Although ‘Denizens’ takes the similar approach to the opener, the doom plays off against some sweeter lighter respites. This continues to the end with some parts of songs moving into laid back stoner territory only to turn into blasts of Scandinavian inspired blasts of metal. For every chugging riff and flat out roar of the vocals there’s something completely different just around the corner. It’s one of the most stimulating doom records you’ll hear. Rather than put you under the hypnosis of pummelling repetition, Bast manage to keep things fresh from one section to the next without it turning into chaos.

Skyhammer Studios has and will be turning out some prime chunks of doom this year. Bast have laid down the standard early on in the year and if this is what we can expect from Black Bow Records, then things are about to get very exciting for fans of earth shattering riffs.