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Bestial Deform - ...ad Leones - 91%

Edmund Sackbauer, June 16th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Satanath Records (Limited edition)

The number of Russian albums in my collection is growing and while the majority still is located in the Power/Prog genre also some Death Metal can be found there.
Recently I reviewed an album by a band called “Dig Me No Grave” and here comes the next. Hailing from Saint Petersburg Bestial Deform have already been founded back in 1990 so it is not an overstatement to call them veterans of the Russian scene. There is a long list of ex members so it does not come as surprise that “…ad Leones” is only their fifth full length album.

Similar to other Russian DM bands like the mentioned Dig Me No Grave or Grond these guys can roughly be put into the Old School Death Metal category. They have implemented elements from the classic Tampa bands as well as some Scandinavian riffs and melodies. Another good point of reference would be their neighbors from Vader.

Compared to Dig Me No Grave the sound here is a bit more straight-forward and slightly cleaner. That does not say that there is no grit to be found here but Bestial Deform are opting for a more classic and traditional style of DM. They are switching between mid-tempo and high-speed attacks for large parts of the records. There are also some of the obligatory slow and groovy parts but only in smaller doses and not as extended than on some of their peers’ albums.

The songwriting does not offer too many surprises as the riffs are very reminiscent of what we have heard before. However, they are executed with enthusiasm and perfect technic so I won’t complain. Alexey Veselov and Kirill Ulanenkov are acting as a furious unit while Anton Fedeha is trying his best to completely destroy his drum kit. He is implementing time changes and tempo shifts without taking out the flow of the songs. Memorable main leads are building the basis for atmospheric tracks and are supplemented by some fierce solos.

Kirill is also doing the vocals on “…ad Leones” and his delivery is up there with the best of the scene. Although growling very deep I have been able to understand what he was singing about most of the time. Guitarists taking over vocal duties as well is not too common but it works pretty great here.

The production is heavy and thick providing for that brutal feeling everyone is craving for when looking for a new DM album to add to the collection. So in case you are not looking for the next big thing or anything brimming with innovation “…ad Leones” is a safe bet.