Beastmaker – “Eye Of The Storm” EP / Tape (Shadow Kingdom)
Battle Helm Rating
With 2 acclaimed albums and a staggering 11 self released EPs, the doom glory of Beastmaker has finally been laid to rest in this 4 tracker EP. Now, with vocalist/guitarist Trevor William Church and bassist John Tucker putting new focus into their true heavy metal band Haunt, “Eye Of The Storm” serves up the final offering albeit with its own wicked twist – namely that it’s played in a halfway house style between doom and true metal! Personally I think it works a treat and makes the ending of (hybrid) Beastmaker even more sorrowful, but all in all, it’s a graceful bow out whichever way you look at it. Opening with the title track, there’s a very epic feel to this slowish number, with Church’s soulful but melancholic vocals adding the perfect icing on top of the dirty riffing and dull, thudding drums, while his clean, melodic solo is very much in the style of Haunt. ‘Shadows’ is even more epic, with Tucker’s bass really adding in heaviness to the already thick riffs, while the superb medieval melodies are truly heart reaching, as are Church’s vocals, wailing in the style of Ozzy, but nowhere near as insanely! And it gets even heavier on ‘My Only Wish’, with the dense guitar and pounding drums providing plenty of menace over which the contrasting melodies and Church’s high vocals only add to the drama and ultimate appeal of what is my favourite track here. Ending with the very strange mushroom of ‘Celestial Glow’, a slow psych doom track although in the lite style of Haunt, the growling guitar is captured by the excellent sound – along with an unexpected piano key (!) adding its own climatic touch to the chorus – before chugging off epicly to the end graced by some exotic virtuoso soloing matched by mournful background vocals. Lament no doubt in the demise of Beastmaker, but savour in the fitting epitaph that is the “Eye Of The Storm”.