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The currently raging new wave of (Swedish but not only) old school death metal surely belongs to the most exiting things that metal underground have spawned in recent years. One may moan on the lack of originality or whatever else, but in my opinion this new trend (or how you call it?) brought us some absolutely killer bands and albums and only deaf will deny the excellence of Miasmal, Maim, Necrovorous, Tribulation, Encoffination, Morbus Chron, Stench of Decay and the likes. I could probably mention many more bands, but I guess you get my point. Bastard Priest belongs to this group of bands definitely also, as they simply shred with pure and relentless death metal and so you shouldn't hesitate giving a spin to their album.
I must say that it passed few months since I've heard the moniker Bastard Priest first and finally listened to some music by them. Somehow I missed the demo "Merciless Insane Death", which is a shame, but luckily I was able to listen to some appetising album songs on myspace. I liked them a lot and of course decided to buy "Under the Hammer of Destruction" vinyl soon afterwards. I couldn't resist as the rotten sound of Bastard Priest music infected my mind totally.
And here it is. Wonderfully packed 12" album, with one of the coolest front covers I've seen recently (I love the logo!) and great old school layout. The band picture with Matt Mendoza and Inventor is also great, even if they look more punk than metal, it surely fits the whole image the band has.
Punk is of course an important influence for Bastard Priest. I guess it plays as important role in the band's sound as does Nihilist, early Bathory, Venom, Autopsy, 1st Death or Master. Put together all these things and you may imagine how Bastard Priest sounds like. There's a stench of rotten dead floating over these sounds, everything is as obscure and raw as you may imagine and as furious as the beast. Of course the main base for the band's style lays in Stockholm and early death metal demos. But Bastard Priest goes back to the roots of this style, when Nihilist was shredding with simple and aggressive death metal. You won't find here the Swedish melody or Swedish guitar sound. Hmm, maybe the instru(mental) "Chock" has a bit of that mentioned melodic riffing, there's also melodic guitar lead in the title track, but that would be everything about that. Most of this record is pure, aggressive and straight forward punked (!!!) death metal. It is very simple in its structure, very raw and obscure and totally crazy. Think of Autopsy and Master (ha, is the riff from "Blasphemy from Hell" from Sarcofago's "Rotting", by the way??!!), add some extra dose of punk and this is Bastard Priest. Myself I'm not into punk much, but somehow I enjoy this album a lot, maybe due to harsh vocals and also those possessing choruses in songs like "Total Mutilation", "Visions of Doom", “Under the Hammer of Destruction” or "From Beyond". Or maybe it's just that putrid smell accompanying the music? Whatever that is, I like it a lot.
If you liked Death Breath album - and who didn't?? - then check Bastard Priest also!