Monster inspired Melodic Blackened Thrash Metal quartet Beast Mode, from Athens, Georgia, return with their follow up to 2016’s ‘Blood Moon’, the six track, twenty one minute thrasher ‘Pound of Flesh’.
Beast Mode – Pound of Flesh (Independent release)
Release Date: 2 April 2021
Words: Jools Green
‘Pound Of Flesh’ opens with ‘Prelude’, a one-minute clean reflective guitar instrumental which, on first listen, gives away nothing regarding what to expect from the rest of the album, but on closer inspection there is a sinister underlayer of strings which acts like a subtle forewarning of the horror inspired content to come.
Now let the thrashing begin, with the driving up tempo ‘Pound of Flesh’, the vocals arriving with an acerbic scream, then we are straight into a chunk of exhilarating leadwork, before the main body of lyrics which are delivered with an acerbic growl and snarl. There is more clean extended leadwork midway through, which breaks the track up and adds an extra interest and texture.
Then with ‘Blade in Hand’ it is straight in with the melodic thrashing melody and you get a lovely chunk of bass work in the first half drop away. It then builds back up with a melody balanced with very vitriolic snarling vocals.
‘Pound of Flesh’ also includes two singles which were originally released back in 2018, the punchy ‘Arise’, with its rapid-fire delivery and the superb ‘Frostbite’ with its engaging drive and magnificently unnerving but utterly catchy lyrics ……
“……Deeper and deeper, it chills you to the bone
Deeper and deeper, the ice is now your home
Deeper and deeper, your skin is turning blue
Deeper and deeper, it’s coming after you …….
……. No choice but to embrace the cold
Blood frozen as death takes hold!”
Beast Mode save the darkest track for last. ‘Vampiric Hunger’ is less melodic but more sinister and driving, with searing leadwork. A great way to end an album.
‘Pound of Flesh’ is a good album, there is not a duff track in sight and I love every aspect; lyrics, composition, musicianship, particularly the snarling, often very protracted and expressive vocals and the fresh clean lead work bursts which make a perfect contrast.
With the up tempo, driving sound balanced against dark sinister lyrics, altogether it makes a well filled, interesting and addictive listen.
Beast Mode deserve to be better known and hopefully this release will gain them a few more fans.
‘Pound of Flesh’ is available as a limited edition (100 copies) CD + digital album or as a digital release from the Beast Mode Bandcamp page.