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Aural Entropy - 94%

atanamar, January 19th, 2014

Beaten To Death give gloriously little in the way of fucks. The band can be found assiduously shitting in the woods, just off the beaten path of metal. I loved the band's debut, and Dødsfest! finds the band again grinding out absurdly ferocious, melodic, addictive, and categorically uncharacterizable music.

The first thing you’ll notice about Dødsfest! is the production; the guitars are barely distorted, and the bass bounces on top of the mix with ballistic pointillism. The album has a gloriously odd center of gravity, feeling simultaneously compressed and airy.

Beyond its acoustic dementia, Dødsfest! is a rabid smorgasbord of styles, united by a disregard for convention. Beaten to Death bring plenty of blastbeaten grind to the table, mincing dissonance and speed with inhuman skill. There are oodles of grooves and the occasional over-the-top breakdown; it all just works. The album’s most salient feature, however, is its blatant melodicism. Indie-rock poignance is poured copiously into the album’s voracious maw.

The appropriation of cross-genre aesthetics into metal is a theme, of course (see Deafheaven). Such purposeful and calculated maneuvers usually set off my bullshit detector, for better or worse. Beaten to Death pull this off, somehow, in a manner that I can enjoy without twinges of misgiving. This chaos doesn’t feel like a marketing ploy, but more like a car crash, a demolition derby for its own sake. Follow me?

Most importantly, Beaten to Death manage to shape their ear-mangling machinations into discernable, recognizable and memorable songs. Its lifespan is brief, but Dødsfest! leaves a mental mark. I’m quite happy that there’s a continuity between Xes And Strokes and Dødsfest!. There’s a vision in this aural entropy; it’s just wonderfully fucked up.

Originally published here.