Green Bastard - PyreReviewing is not a complicated process. We listen to a promo album the same way an average listener would, with our heart and gut, gauging our emotional state during each separate song and the album as a whole. Aside from that, we analyze from a more clinical point of view, weighing factors like originality, history, and experience of the band, the skill of individual members, and production quality. We weigh all the good against all the bad like Anubis and his feather, but every now and then an album comes along that doesn’t seem to have any flaws. You consider every angle, every riff and subject, but nothing seems like anything less than a total home run. Green Bastard‘s debut Pyre is pretty much the exact opposite of that.

The first track opens with what sounds like the last bit of echo of a previous take before the first notes slowly fade in. This strange artifact prompted me to double-check the track order and to doubt whoever produced the album. This state of uncertainty did not last long because the album sounds horrific, confirming my suspicion the producer had no idea what he was doing. The entire album is drenched in so much distortion and reverb the guitar and bass may as well have been played with handbrushes or by dragging the instrument across the pavement. I would not have been able to tell the difference. I certainly can’t tell from listening whether guitar or bass or both were used. The master is as dynamic as concrete and the only instrument rising out of the puddle is the drums.

The album lasts close to an hour and contains about 6 riffs, all of them dull, spread over 3 songs. It seems Green Bastard went for a record like Sleep‘s Dopesmoker, but they failed to use anything that made that album good, decent, or even tolerable. By the time the monotony becomes unbearable and some variety needs to be interjected the band repeats the same riff another few minutes before adding vocals to the mix. These vary from a Crowbar rasp to a Khemmis croon, although both those comparisons imply the ability to keep rhythm or pitch. Mercifully the vocals are mixed back so far they regularly get buried in the avalanche of monotonous distortion, giving an impression of an incoherent man shouting from three blocks over.

Green Bastard 2016

The drums are the only feature decent enough to save this from being a disaster on all fronts, providing a welcome distraction from the constant churning buzz. They’re nothing brilliant, but they’re still leaps above the rest, and the abominable production hasn’t managed to squash them completely. On the second half of “Cyclopean Walls” the speed is turned up slightly, and the occasional atonal solo or screaming feedback pepper the endless drone, breaths of fresh air among the noisy slog. None of these can save this train wreck but they kept me from bashing my skull open on a table corner after the third listen.

Pyre is a debut, and one could argue this means some slack-cutting might be in order, but I should note that two of my highest rated reviews this year were debuts, as well as one my favorite records this year. If you can’t play your instruments, if you don’t have the money or skills to have your album produced to a semblance of decency, don’t release a debut album. Release some demos, practice, work on your songwriting. To do otherwise can only end in tears, as evidenced above. Pyre is a joyless and miserable droning hour of weak riffs endlessly repeating amidst hideous distortion and atrocious production. Green Bastard better get back to the drawing board. Their debut goes on the pyre.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Midnight Werewolf Records
Websites: greenbastard.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/greenbastardnh
Releases Worldwide: November 16th, 2016

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  • Eldritch Elitist

    I feel like that album cover is a pretty accurate visual representation of this review. Way to roast ’em. Six riffs over three huge songs sounds like an awful experience.

  • Ben Harris

    The beginning of the embedded song isn’t even played in time. It seems as if the drum hits are meant to be in time with the guitar but they’re slightly off. Either a poor attempt at some sort of polyrhythm or some poor attempt at playing in time.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Ouch! This was brutal! Great review, and a blast to read, thanks!

    Hey, “Sorrow and Extinction” and “Absolution” were also reviews. Seems doom metal gets more great debuts then most genres for whatever reason.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Is there any good band with “Bastard” in their name? I feel like this a missed opportunity…

    • Reese Burns

      Hellbastard?

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Ah, shit, I knew I was forgetting something.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I was right about to type “Hellbastard” until I saw your post.

    • Emanuele Di Marino

      Cripple bastards?

    • Helldaemon666

      Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard?

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Of course this exists. Of course…

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          It does. I checked.

    • some dude

      I guess it was jinxed by some marketing guy back in 1976.

    • Martin Knap

      Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Man is the Bastard is awesome.

    • brklyner

      Man Is The Bastard.

  • Thatguy

    Very clever first paragraph, you mean bastard. You got my hopes up then cruelly dashed them.

    This is not good though, is it?

    • GardensTale

      No, no it’s not. But stabbing out the fluttering hearts of readers makes it worth it.

      • Thatguy

        Stab my heart out by all means as long as it is done as cleverly as you did.

        I meant the music ain’t good though.

  • When you play the same riff over and over again for 5 minutes and still can’t play it in time, it’s time to stop, practice and then maybe try recording it again later.

    When you release it as part of an album…

    I lasted maybe 6-7 minutes, mainly because I wanted to see if anything was actually going to happen. I guess it sort of did, but it’s debatable.

    I don’t think the production is all that terrible for the style. If the music was more interesting, I could accept it.

  • Iain Gleasure

    Uhhh, excuse me reviewer, the Feather of Ma’at isn’t Anubis’ it is the divine representation of the Ancient Egyptian belief in universal justice and balance and is a goddess entirely on its own. Geez, some people. /s

    That was meant to be a joke based on twitch streams, no intent to offend. A better review than album, unfortunately.

    • GardensTale

      Well, what do you know, mythological knowledge! Something good came out of this dreck after all. Thank you for the enlightenment!

      • Iain Gleasure

        No problem! i’m taking an Ancient Egyptian history class and my TA was funny when Brotherhood of the Snake came out: “It’s good but the documents we know about it from aren’t from 6000BC. Writing wasn’t even invented for 2000- 3000 more years!

  • GWW

    Shit comes out slow sometimes

    • Oscar Albretsen

      But when it does, it can be more painful…

  • The Unicorn
    • Thatguy

      It had to happen.

    • [not a Dr]

      It’s consistent with the production.
      It’s still the most interesting feature this bans is offering.

    • Jeremy Vandecaveye

      I am new the the website and noticing Unicorns in a lot of pictures. Just wondering why this is done?

      • The Unicorn

        Boredom. And because…well, I’m a Unicorn.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Typically, when bands have terrible promotional pictures or none at all, they are unicorn-shamed in the review itself. Our old friend The Unicorn just does it when he feels like it.

    • GoatForest

      I must’ve hit my head earlier, as I actually kinda like this. Nevermind, the cleans just kicked in.

  • Matt slatz

    I d rather listen to bubbles as the green bastard

  • DrChocolate

    I blame Pallbearer for this. Their debut and the follow up were so damn strong they made moody doom look easy. It’s not. Exhibit A) the embedded track above. Especially about twelve minutes in when everyone starts playing in a different time, it hurts my head.

  • Norfair Legend

    This, no shit, sounds exactly like the first band I was in, I was heavily into Fudge Tunnel Hate Songs that week, my friend was on a Spiritual Healing kick and my other two friends were heavily into Bold, Youth of Today and the like.

    Wish I still had the tape so I could play it against this, one song was called “Eat your vegetables.”