Release Date: Dec 10, 2013
Record label: Svart
One of the down-low delights of 2012 was ‘Use Your Deluge’, the debut seven-inch by clandestine Finns Beastmilk. Despite being a heroically hook-packed take on early-’80s post-punk and goth, it mainly found favour in metal circles – vocalist Kvohst’s background includes various bands of that nature. But anyone who’s enjoyed this year’s Iceage and Savages full-lengths should embrace this splendid debut album.
"A seductively dark slab of post-punk which manages to not take itself too seriously..." If ever you were to find yourself looking for the quintessential soundtrack to a foggy winter’s night post-apocalypse, ‘Climax’ would pretty much tick all the right boxes. Through the brooding monotone croon of lead singer Kvohst and echoing down-tuned riffs churned out by guitarist Goatspeed (best name ever) slathered all over choice cuts such as ‘Death Reflects Us’ and ‘Nuclear Winter’, Beastmilk have created a seductively dark slab of post-punk which manages to not take itself too seriously, while still being brilliant enough for it not to become comical. And that’s a fine balance.
It’s almost taken as gospel that by the time December rolls around every album that you must hear has already been released… But that’s not always the case. As the ashes of 2013 blows away, there is still the odd ember that burns incandescently. Beastmilk’s debut full-length Climax is one such ember, and according to the recent hype and bluster mustered by this Finnish four-piece, it seems like there’ll be little chance that Beastmilk will be forgotten amidst the fiery furore caused by endless “end of year” lists.
The shadow of Andrew Eldritch hangs heavy over the debut album from the Finnish quartet Beastmilk. It's not that they sound desperately like the Sisters of Mercy: gothy they may be, but Beastmilk are more metallic in tone, fond of big riffs and big riffs. It's more that singer Kvohst (actually a Brit called Mathew McNerney) shares Eldritch's impatient baritone, and a penchant for lyrics that combine gloominess and near-parodic silliness in equal measure ("When the blood starts to rush, I've got a genocidal crush," he informs us on a song called, yes, Genocidal Crush, which you could easily imagine as a This Corrosion-era Sisters song).