The Day of the Beast – Indisputably Carnivorous Review

The almighty riff. While I’m not entirely convinced of its importance, masochists like Diabolus in Muzaka and Ferrous Beuller spend their days raking the dregs of the Skull Pit’s outer limits in the vain hopes of discovering it laying amid the rusty needles of tech-death or beneath the gore and grime of OSDM, only to return empty-handed and receive yet another beating from the all-knowing ape. While the foundation of countless styles of metal, it’s a frail thing, as its weak implementation or absence can violently derail a song or an album. Worshipers of the almighty and ever-elusive riff, does The Day of the Beast succeed or will they crash and burn with the hordes of Nifelheim-copycats?

The Day of the Beast is an American black/thrash quintet from Virginia, quietly prolific since their 2006 inception, having released three full-lengths, four demos, and an EP. Similar to acts like Aura Noir, Desaster, and Absu, expect a full-frontal assault of chunky riffs and wailing solos with blasting drums and blackened screeches atop. Adding a nicely tasteful Gothenburg flavor reminiscent of several members’ repertoire with Skyless, Indisputably Carnivorous is an album packed from wall to wall with kickassery and relentlessness. It ultimately succeeds in all the ways that black/thrash albums do while also failing in all the ways black/thrash albums do.

Like any black/thrash album worth its merit, don’t expect a whole lot of subtlety with Indisputably Carnivorous. Crunchy and blazing thrash riffs beat down on ears from start to finish, complemented by climactic solos between. It’s a bit of a strange fusion with the lyrics, as they focus heavily on horror, occult, and Lovecraftian themes while the sound is anything but obscure. Nearly every track features the same tricks: riffs, build-ups to riffs, solos, and screeches. While difficult to extract the true highlights amid the ceaseless beatdown, The Day of the Beast allows itself some melodeath influence that keeps things from getting too stagnant. The title track, “Annihilation Prayer,” and “On Top of Many Layers of Horror” feature melodic flourishes and Gothenburg plodding, while “Judas in Hell be Proud” features more of a patient build-up that adds emphasis to the riffs that follow.

What’s difficult about Indisputably Carnivorous is its adherence to the black/thrash palette, which, established long ago by Nifelheim, appeals to a very niche audience and I admit fully that I am far out of my wheelhouse here. The Day of the Beast is very much a band that Mark Z. would get more from than I do. That being said, Indisputably Carnivorous runs into a similar issue that thrash-adjacent groups seem to deal with: length. It’s a fifty minute affair with virtually no reprieve, and it inevitably grows wearisome. However, aside from the vocals that could stand to be quieter and drums louder in the mix, there are very few blatant snafus amid the pummel. The guitar tone balances tremolo fury and tasteful chunkiness, and each song features a tastefully kickass solo to capitalize on the hype. The Day of the Beast fits nicely alongside contemporary black/thrash like Frosthelm or Sauron with its implementation of melody and fury, but paired with its wearisome length and lack of distinction, it’s difficult to hop aboard the bandwagon here.

If the almighty riff is all you’re after, The Day of the Beast will mightily satisfy. It’s fast, heavy, and relentless, but that’s about it. Indisputably Carnivorous is indisputably black/thrash, and offers thrash riffs galore and blackened fury in seamless fusion, but it’s too long and too similar to other bands of its ilk. That being said, I admit that I am not these Virginians’ target audience, so I am left feeling “meh” about their fourth full-length. It’s furious, melodic, and well-executed, but feels like a one-trick pony. If it’s the riff you’re looking for, look no further; but if it’s the game-changer you’re patiently awaiting, look elsewhere.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
LabelProsthetic Records |
Releases Worldwide: June 18th, 2021

« »