Thursday, April 08, 2010

CHAINMAIL: Batillus - Beard Destroyer Tour EP (self-released, 2009)

The CHAINMAIL section reviews bands that were proactive enough to contact me directly. Here at Cerebral Metalhead, initiative is rewarded.

An upside-down photo of the Beard Destroyer Tour EP
Courtesy of the ESEF Industries Blog

Why aren’t there more instrumental doom bands? Simple. Shit’s boring. Great as it feels to have a riff crumble on top of you, slow metal gets old real fast without some human presence to bring us outta plodlandia. On their self-titled debut EP, Batillus crawled outta the Brooklyn muck with some ho-hum doom bashing. Twasn’t bad so much as overly workmanlike, nice for a toke (or so I’m told) and occasionally a vigorous headbang but lacking in any defining features that might inspire a second traversal of its 10-minute bummer sessions.

Batillus - "Beyond the River (excerpt)"

Batillus drafted Fade Kainer, from Inswarm and Jarboe’s band, to add vocals, synths and samples on their second eponymous EP. What a difference a growl makes. Now there’s a ring-wraith diffusing its howls over the trippy thunder on “The Division,”a skeleton riding side-saddle atop the bumpy end of “Beyond the River.”Batillus’s guitars sound hungrier, Geoff Summers’s sturdy drumming more flagellant. The songs here rumble forward like medieval war machines with a dangerous sense of momentum. And Fade’s choked keyboard atmosphere adds the perfect amount of humidity for the growth of doom fungi. It’s a snappy Electric Wizard homage that Batillus have on their hands. Moshless tour with Naam, Samothrace and Laudanum, por favor.

EP 2 is currently sold out. All the material will appear on a 12” split set for release in 2010

Slow yer heartbeat to a crawl at Batillus's MySpace page!

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