Having appeared on our Top 5 Modern Goth Records list for 2013, it seems only right that we talk a little bit as to how bloody good Climax is. Because it is good. Really bloody good.
Beastmilk aren’t breaking the mould with their cold, goth-tinged rock and roll but they sure are making it feel fresh and intoxicating. The Finnish band, led by Kvohst of Hexvessel (and formerly of black metal bands Code and Dødheimsgard), deal in a kind of post-punk gloom and take elements from such luminaries as Joy Division, The Cure, Danzig and Sisters of Mercy all while feeling quite twenty first century and adding a slick, glimmering sheen of apocalyptic doom to proceedings.Climax is a debut that echoes and dances with the past but still maintains a modern flavour – quite the achievement, but considering the chaps involved, hardly surprising.
“Death Reflects Us” kicks things off in decidedly catchy fashion, the beats doing much to betray the downtrodden lyrical themes that course through the song and the album as a whole. Beastmilk are particularly adept at weaving those Joy Division, Interpol-esque drum licks (Paile) into punchy rhythms that oppose the darkness held within the words sang by their frontman. Kvohst’s voice is deep, penetrating and wonderfully heavy with sensuality – think Pete Steele and Danzing – and his presence is commanding without being overbearing. Able to switch from the cavernous bottom range to higher-pitched tones during “Ghosts Out of Focus,” he traverses Robert Smith territory yet stays true to Beastmilk’s modern touch.
Beastmilk have already gained a lot of attention from metal circles due to Kvohst’s inclusion in revered bands and Fenriz of Darkthrone championing them early on but they’ve also garnered praise from more mainstream outlets due in part to the inherent timelessness of their sound. It’s one that can sit comfortably in dingy clubs of thirty years ago but also one that can fill a dancefloor of black-clad figures all out for one thing in the current climate – annihilation. Their apocalyptic rage is felt throughout the record and talk of death, of the end and of deep coldness permeates the songs here and such themes echo through the ages.
Climax is a thrilling ride from beginning to ultimate end and Beastmilk are more than a novelty act, or throwback band as some are wont to think. They are most certainly the real deal and Climax is a debut of exhilarating proportions. Plus, being able to pull off a Beach Boys sample during “Surf the Apocalypse” deserves some kind of award at least.
8.5 / 10
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