For Those About to Squawk: Waldo Pecks on Swampbeast, Wombvoid and Gravesend

What the PECK IS UP, MOTHERPECKERS?! It’s your old boy Waldo comin’ back atcha to review some new releases, that either, suck, don’t suck or are just OK. I know, with such an exciting lead in, how could you NOT read on?

How can I NOT review a band called Swampbeast?!?! I mean, now THAT is a name. Anyway, they have a record called Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads coming out on translation Loss.  Where oh where do I even start with this? This is, uh, BAD ASS. Pigeonholing these guys is a little tough, this is part black metal, part death metal, part grindcore, with a dash of hardcore thrown in. So, you know how sometimes I talk about “atmosphere?” That’s the first thing you notice here, but this is no ambient tom beakery of atmosphere, this goes STRAIGHT for the jugular.  The production here is HUGE, and pecking nasty. Not at all “clean” or too dirty. The vocals are mean as nest and the drums crack like hell. As a whole, this is mostly divided into two sorta “genres”, but they come off and blend seamlessly. Did I mention there was some death/doom thrown in here, too? This has it all without sounding like an amalgam, just comes across really cohesive. I’m impressed. 9 Fucking Pecks!

Portugal isn’t really known for having a prodigious musical output, but Voidwomb is releasing Altars of Cosmic Devotion. I’m going to start off by saying this review is going to sound critical as peck, and sound like I don’t like this. I DO like it, but it all seems very confused. This is a black metal band (sorta). Calling this standard black metal is just not accurate enough though. There are a lot of black metal passages, but they go into very death metal parts. Which is confusing, this isn’t “blackened death” or anything like that, it seems like a band that’s having an identity crisis. The vocals are 100% death metal, and that’s actually refreshing on the black metal parts, and all in all, this is pretty mean. However, WHAT is up with those drums? (see the first fill on the video clip posted below.) They just sound weird. Overall, there are some moments here and there that are cool, but the aforementioned “identity crisis” just comes across as a little confused and middling. Not too bad though. 5 Fucking Pecks.

2021 is starting off strong for one of my favorite labels. 20 Buck Spin is releasing Gravesend’s Methods of Human Disposal. This is CRUSTY, and clearly has one foot planted firmly in the anarcho punk movement, but there’s a lot of black metal here, too. This is clearly made by punks who could give a shit less about what anyone thinks of them. Mean, has some “grooves” has some blasts, has some crust. I’m digging this, just a little surprised about the blending of styles here. Nihilism and general hatred abound here. I like it! 7 Fucking Pecks.


Until next time… Waldo out!