Today, on a day when new Death Metal was sorely needed, into my life walks the new BEHEADED album, Beast Incarnate (January 27, Unique Leader Records). You ever have one of those days where you fantasize about taking an axe to the head of several co-workers because they are just being lazy while at the same time having too much goddamn mouth for their own good? Well, today was that day. So rather than break the glass on the emergency fire axe and go to town I opted to put on this collection of punishing tracks on so as to quell the beast within. I also can’t afford the jail time, so there’s that.
The title track “Beast Incarnate” gets right to the business of fucking shit up as does next number “The Horror Breathes” which is actually even heavier. This is the type of shit that gets my blood pumping, man. This is the stuff I need that calms me down, believe it or not. “Crossing the House of Knives” was arguably my favorite, and I can only describe it as barely controlled chaos. It feels like a musical tornado just ripping houses from the ground only to send them crashing back down in pieces. Also, the drumming on “Reign of the Headless King” is akin to heavy machine gun fire coming at you from all directions.
Next up is the eight-minute epic “The Black Death”. It starts with the sound of a ship at sea, then slowly builds into this lumbering monster, the beat not unlike the footsteps of a giant once he reaches the shore to terrorize the villagers. “Cursed Mediterranean” picks up the pace a little and pounds skulls for all of its four minutes, while “Fid-dlam Tadejjem” with its fierce as all get out drum patterns shows an underlying intricacy beneath its brutality. The guitars and bass sound especially thick on this track, whether by accident or design.
Closing the disc is “Punishment of the Grave”, complete with eerie intro. As it takes off, the guitars are still dark and menacing and they stay that way throughout. And once again the drums hit you squarely in the solar plexus, a fitting end to the record. All told Beast Incarnate is very, very good. And with a running time of 38 minutes and change it does what a great Death Metal album is supposed to do: get in, get out, and make you want to hit that REPEAT button the way it’s been hitting you upside the head. After 25 years it’s safe to say that BEHEADED is still going strong. Pick up your copy on January 27 and go break something…or someone.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Fid-dlam Tadejjem”, “Crossing the House of Knives”, “The Horror Breathes”, “Reign of the Headless King”