Beastmilk- Climax (Svart Records)

A wonderful mixture of post-punk and gothic influences...
Release Date: 
29 Nov 2013 (All day)

It's a rare thing indeed when a band is able to tick almost every buzzword box on the list. Interesting, unique, accessible, beautiful and dark; all these words and more can be applied to self-monikered Scandinavian "apocalyptic post-punk" band Beastmilk. Their debut album Climax has served to be some of the most essential non-metal listening for metal fans in 2013.

The soundscapes created on Climax are hard to put your finger on. At any one time you could invoke several different bands to describe what you're hearing. In general, the best way to describe Beastmilk's sound would be what happened if Joy Division took a bunch of downers and got into bed with a young Killing Joke. That's far from the entirety of their sound however; a cursory spinning of tunes such as Genocidal Crush or Love in a Cold World reveals a fatalistic romance about the band that touches on the gothic embrace of Type O Negative and even White Light from the Mouth of Infinity-era Swans.

This gothic influence comes out well in the production as the guitars and particularly the vocals manage to sound cold yet strangely beautiful and inviting. One thing that really stands out on Climax is just how strong the song writing is. The band really knows how to write hooks that, while they're not necessarily poppy, manage to stick in your head and display a subtle mastery of melody. That's essentially what makes the band so interesting to listen to, rather than any big or fancy tricks to their sound, it's the little touches that make listening to them so worthwhile. Take for instance the handclaps at the start of Love in a Cold World which make you think for a second you're listening to a downcast interation of The Beach Boys. The band manages to be catchy yet absolutely cold and downcast at the same time, without relying on any kind of gimmick or coming across as insincere.

I advise you to pick up Climax as soon as possible and show it to all your friends. Heck, show it to your mum. You might finally bond over the meaninglessness of love, life and the universe.