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Watch out for the beasts of son of EVIL! - 88%

colin040, May 26th, 2019

In a way the pre-Andreas Kisser era of Sepultura reminds me of what Hellhammer was compared to Celtic Frost – meaning we’re dealing with a band that tried to sound as dark and heavy as possible and ended up influencing plenty of extreme metal bands to come.

Bestial Devastation has what I like to call that blasphemous Brazilian thing going on - if ‘’Antichrist’’ doesn’t sound like the inspiration source for all those blasphemous goat worshipping black/death metal bands that appeared years later, then I don’t know what does. With those grinding riffs and blastbeats banging against each other it’s certainly ahead of its time. What’s interesting is how certain mid paced moments on this EP seem quite Celtic Frost inspired which you couldn’t say about Sepultura’s later works. ‘’Necromancer’’ is easily the most groove-y track the band had written in the 80’s and relies on a huge behemoth of a main riff before the track speeds the hell up. ‘’Warriors of Death’’ falls somewhere between Possessed and Celtic Frost where Max has no chorus to fall back on while the title track demonstrates a young Max barking at his frenzied that even the slower sections end up sounding like total mayhem.

What strikes me as odd is how Bestial Devastation sounds somewhat superior to its successor. Morbid Visions had a buzzsaw guitar tone not unlike Hellhammer, but here the guitars sound downright heavy and dare I say death metal-like. I know the guitars aren’t exactly in tune here, but to me that’s more of an unintended strength than anything else. By the time you hear that melodic solo in ‘’Warriors of Death’’, it’s clear even the prettiest sounds on Bestial Devastation come off more morbid and messed up than what one expect. The vocals too, are quite something. This is before Max developed that one dimensional shout or sounded like a pissed off bushman like he did on Schizophrenia. Here he roars like a demonic being with great effect; the amount of reverb on his voice really helps and unlike Morbid Visions he doesn’t sound rushed but more grounded instead.

So yes, Bestial Devastation is a great EP. That goofy growled introduction is quite something and the cover artwork reminds me of that final battle of Yoshi's Island (the SNES game if anyone wonders), but otherwise this is some serious great evil stuff of a once great band.