Bastard Feast? Sounds Delicious!
It feels these days like ‘filth’ has become its own genre. Championed by bands like Cobalt, Mortals, and Mutilation Rites (who I’m sure would credit a slew of other bands before them, they’re simply personal reference points), filth started with a skeleton of black metal and began incorporating elements of sludge, noise, crust punk, and grindcore, seemingly to further the nihilistic bleakness that often feels like it got lost along the way in black metal’s evolution. The result is nasty, dissonant, bleak, energetic, and captivating.
On their sophomore album Osculum Infame, Portland’s Bastard Feast do filth extremely well. Featuring two members of The Abominable Iron Sloth, the quartet has a sound that is undulates wildly between strung-out experimental black metal and grimy, abrasive crust, with the occasional tasty thrash riff or hardcore breakdown thrown in for good measure. And while the record has sections that blur together—not every track on Osculum is pure metallic genius—the moments of greatness that divide them are captivating, atmospheric, and filthy as fuck.
The highlights of the album are many, and thankfully they vary considerably from one another. Opener “Bloated City” is vicious, with fantastic momentum and misanthropy. “The Rat Through Our Veins” is full of menacing guitar work, while “The Serpent Spoke” has the rhythm and attitude of a night wasted on bad liquor. “Watchful Defiler” uses unsettling tones and crushing percussion to create a sense of paranoia and frenzy. “Claustrophobic Of This World”, meanwhile, begins with and awesomely infectious headbanging riff and charges forward from there. The record ends with “Synthetic Messiah,” an echoing melancholy mindfuck that could be the soundtrack to dying in a cave.
Truth be told, Osculum Infame never really falls flat, it just sounds a bit the same sometimes, and that often comes from its strong points being so strong that other parts feel unimpressive by comparison. But for those who like their metal gross, mean, and slightly undefinable, Bastard Feast are definitely worth checking out. Let the filth flow.
Bastard Feast’s Osculum Infame comes out July 22 on Season of Mist. You can stream the entire album below and pre-order the album here.