Tarnation album cover by Bastard of the Skies

Bastard of the Skies – Tarnation

Bastard of the Skies
(Future Noise Records)

On their new album, Tarnation, Bastard of the Skies burn through the musical landscape like an out-of-control wildfire, scorching and leaving barren everything in their path. Upon first listen I hated this album. Initially I found it boring and repetitive. But then I decided to give it a second listen, then a third and a fourth until the album began to take on a life of its own. The mountainous, pulse-pounding bass and percussion provides a heartbeat. The crunching guitars reverberate like a toothy, gaping jaw ready to render flesh and crush bone. The raspy, screaming vocals form a clawed fist ready to rip your soul out through your groin. This album truly becomes a monster unto itself.

Bastard of the Skies’ sound could be described as a bastard child of ’70s era Black Sabbath and ’80s Cannibal Corpse. Formed in 2006 and hailing from Blackburn, Lancashire (UK), the band consists of Matt Richardson (guitars, vocals), Rob Beesley (guitars), Claire Horrocks (Bass) and Matt Aldred (Drums). Citing influences such as Black Sabbath, Melvins, Mastodon, and Kyuss, the band’s Facebook page likens their music as “drowning in a swamp full of your own shite.”

Bastard of the Skies – Bay Horse

Standouts on this album include the title track. It is a short, dark and foreboding piece reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath”, but with more jaw-jarring percussion. “A Punch In The Fucking Lungs” is just that, with catchy hooks, heavy guitar riffs and a solid bass line. Richardson lets loose despite his vocals being mostly subdued.

“Drug Monarch” sounds like a death march in tribute to Pantera. Ending the album is “What Are You Looking At Dicknose?” The song is an epic track coming in at over 10 minutes. It starts quietly like a storm.  With intermittent guitar chords and vocals acting as the thunder and lightning, the song rolls in. Then there is a slow build, adding tension until after the eight-minute mark when the song erupts into an orgasmic musical explosion while ending in the fashion it started.

The soundtrack to the end of the world, this album is not for the pop-metal enthusiast. For those who like their metal to deliver a swift kick in the balls and bludgeoning of their skull, this is an album that definitely deserves a listen.

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