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Barbatos' - 85%

Tawxik, July 16th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, AreaDeath Productions

If Cards Against Humanity, an adult Madd Libb-style card game, were a band, it'd be Barbatos. Hailing from Japan, Barbatos is your fundamental bare boned, profane metal outfit. With lyrics preaching crude, patriarchal notions of sex, acts of deviance and drinking merely to get fucked up, Barbatos is just as sacrilegious and absurd as you can get; just as blasphemous as Cards Against Humanity, and just as fun.

From the unfaithful girlfriend (“My Girlfriend with Other Guy”) to the idealized metal slut (“Metal Slut Fuck Me”), Barbatos’ mastermind Yasuyuki Suzuki on their latest Areadeath Productions release, Let’s Fucking Die!, bellows the barbaric war cry of all metal’s sausage-fest-card-holding, sex obsessed brethrens’ wet dreams. As a lyrical subject, women are only presented as means for sexual gratification or are demoted to the role of the scheming bitch (“Blonde Hair and Bitch”; “My Girlfriend with Other Guys”). As can be rationally assumed, women’s role with sex in Barbatos’ lyrics is merely being fuckable objects, and not an active participant. Sex is also lyrically expressed as a means of self-inflation and affirmation for ridiculous patriarchal notions of masculinity (“My Dick is Fucking Big”). Stigmatized ideas of women and pompous concepts of masculinity are not the only perverse subjects presented in Barbatos’ music, the ideology of being true (with a v?) and drinking yourself into a comatose state are also wailed about in songs like “Metal Hangover” and “Satanic Beer,” where drinking yourself into a black out, acting like an intoxicated deviant, and being an alcoholic are bluntly articulated and even encouraged. As such, beer is put on a golden pedestal in the frostiest, dirtiest pint glass ever. In the words of Yasuyuki Suzuki himself, “ Beer is so fantastic/ Beer is my medicine/ Metal Beer—this is what I like/Metal Beer—it tastes alright/ Beer is my Leader!” (“Beer is My Leader”). Beer is god.

Instrumentally speaking, Barbatos is a metal-punk hybrid that isn’t trying to reestablish anything or even distinguish itself from Yasuyuki Suzuki’s other musical projects, such as Abigail. This isn’t a harsh criticism of their unremarkable, indistinguishable-ness, it’s just merely stating the fact that they are just another one of Yasuyuki Suzuki awesome projects, and sounds like it too. Moreover, like Yasuyuki Suzuki’s other outfits, Barbatos’ generic raw, rudimentary aural discord would be a real treat live. However, the raw, rudimentary feel of Barbatos’ music doesn’t always translate well recorded, sometimes even sounding like an annoying, arrhythmic thudding in the background. As such, the dirty chaos that is Barbatos’ material is definitely suited for the live setting. With such obscene lyrical content and such primitive metal instrumentals, Barbatos’ material awakens the beer-guzzling, fist pumping sicko in all of us. So Drink on!

Solid metallic punk rock - 70%

Noktorn, July 1st, 2011

The dirty secret of Barbatos- as the band went further along in their career, they just got punkier, to the point where "Let's Fucking Die!" is really a lot more punk than metal. Granted, it's metal-influenced punk- there's a big helping of oldschool speed metal, and the punk/metal strains of Motörhead are all over this disc- but it's punk nonetheless. Unsurprisingly, it sounds like the band is a lot more comfortable playing this than the black/thrash style of previous albums- here, all the black metal influence has basically been excised in favor of a sound that takes as much from The Ramones as any metal band. It's a fun and enthusiastic release, fairly one-dimensional and straightforward, that shows Barbatos doing what they do best: rocking out with big, stupid songs that display just how far you can get on attitude alone.

This album works in a couple basic modes: Motörhead-influenced speed metal, where fast punk-meets-Priest riffs collide with aggressive drumming and shrieking vocals, and straightforward punk tracks which take influence from everything from crust to The Ramones without batting an eye. The two flavors go together remarkably well, bound together by the core of punk riffing that infuses even the most metal sections, and while the riffs tend to be simple and traditional, they're always engaging, intense, and captivating; they're the soul of the music gliding over a perpetual river of d-beats and shouted Engrish. More surprising than the more aggressive moments are the tracks that bring to mind the slower, more emotive tracks The Ramones would do; "Baby I'm Your Man" quite literally sounds like a mid-era Ramones song, using the same basic chord structure in the main riff as "Pet Sematary"- minus the more extreme vocals and it could be from the '70s with no trouble.

Of course, while the band is pretty good at making catchy punk tracks, this album does suffer from some measure of repetition and ultimately pointless tracks. Around four tracks could probably be cut from this album to make a leaner, more immediately gripping release- as it is, my attention tends to wander around and only come back for my favorite songs. Though none of the tracks are obviously weaker than the others, the sheer similarity of most of them can turn this album into kind of an ordeal to listen to, even if the music is solid at its core. It all depends on how much you enjoy the style- for me, this is good, but an occasional listen. Barbatos are hardly reinventing the wheel on this one, but it's entertaining and even surprisingly nuanced music at times, and I think that's good enough for music like this.