BAEST - NECRO SAPIENS
Updated: Apr 10, 2021
DEATH METAL DANES BRING HOME THE BACON
Unreconstructed, back-to-basics death metal is resurgent just now and Baest are at the vanguard. With a number of bands (particularly but not exclusively from Scandinavia) pedalling modern, celebratory and often tongue-in-cheek twists on the early 1990s death metal blueprint, there is a veritable wave of gleeful and good quality homages to the genre's roots. As for Baest, they have developed a refined knack of revelling in everything that is oafishly cliched about the genre by belting out brutish, raucously brilliant death metal songs.
Necro Sapiens starts with a forgettable and barely noticeable 30 second ambient introduction before the real opener Genesis which is a death thrash winner, potent in its violent simplicity. An 1980s-esque hammer house mid-temp twin lead gives way to a juggernaut of double kick pedals and blastbeats with a slamming 'chorus' section. A strong start but Baest have, however, turned out a modern classic with Necro Sapiens - the nearest to what death metal gets to a hit single. It is Baest's Hammer Smashed Face, a memorable, fetid earworm that is both ridiculous and viscerally heavy. It is a maniacal drinking anthem and will be a storm live.
Eschewing the muddied, retro-production and bludgeon of early 1990s DM currently in vogue, Necro Sapiens is has a clear sound that - while not quite crisp - is exact and tight. The percussion is prominent in the mix and, throughout the record, is a tour de force of metal drumming that gives the music a precise pulverising element even during slower grinding numbers. Talking of which, Baest mash up hyper-active spindrifts of blastbeats like the truly demented Towers of Suffocation, the breakneck Putrefaction Through Mutilation or the furious thrash of Meathook Massacre with dialled down mid-paced tempos such as the putrefied crawls of Czar. As for the vocals, meanwhile, you can feel them reverberate through the soles of your feet; almost completely unvarying in their bellowing guttural diaphragm-ripping delivery: think Morbid Angel's David Vincent except drunk and listening to Nile in an industrial basement.
Necro Sapiens, to a large extent, embodies the unabashed, grotesque death metal spirit. At its core, it is a thumping, intoxicated, morbid knees-up. Passionate, direct and devoid of any consideration for originality, street nous, or pretentiousness. It is a tongue-wagging, gurning exercise in not over-thinking. Clearly, Baest do not take themselves too seriously, at least going by song titles such as Goregasm or Sea of Vomit - and thematically their odes to disembowelment and excessive torture are essentially yet another borrowing from the well worn DM glossary of gore that hasn't had a revised edition for 30 years. There is a palpable sense of fun at play, but this is not dumb. While this is a brimming salute the old school ethos, it is delivered with modern precision. The musicianship is tightly-sown and played with flair, guts and with a wealth of tricks and riffs that underpin the whole bloody racket.