Words About Music
Bastard Sapling “Instinct Is Forever”
American black metal can be tricky business, especially with so many beginning to circulate. It can be tougher and tougher out there to distinguish oneself. Even outside of that the black metal genre, just being a heavy metal band can be really tough. Sure, there’s metal bands like Pallbearer, Deafheaven, Liturgy, Wolves in the Throne Room, Inter Arma, Earth, Sleep, and several more that do an excellent job of being original in a sea of copycats. But for others that aren’t quite as big it can be tough. Bastard Sapling is the project of an ex-Cannabis Corpse (you read that read) guitarist as well as members of Inter Arma. Their sound can best be described as blackened death metal, not unlike Behemoth. You’ve got your blast beats on themes of death and suicide on this thing, but you’ve also got some groovy riffs and slow-burning tracks.
I don’t know much about the history of Bastard Sapling, but I do know that I, for the most part, enjoy the contents of “Instinct Is Forever.” Unfortunately, I’ve heard black metal and death metal albums this year that are way better. Behemoth’s latest record “The Satanist” is incredible, as is the newest album from Australian black metal project Woods of Desolation. Compared to those, “Instinct Is Forever” doesn’t quite hold up. There’s great performances and movements and tracks on this record, but in this day and age where we’re experiencing a creative sonic boom in several heavy metal genres, it’s not quite “stand-the-test-of-time” worthy.
If you even remotely enjoy death metal and black metal and you’re looking for a good new albums that satisfies one or both of those genres, check out “Instinct Is Forever.” Stylistically, it’s everything you could want and more. It comes in at just over and hour, there’s time-signature switches, cool riffs, great production, and it’s just a good record. I won’t call it life-changing or spectacular or really anything different than what a lot of similar bands are doing, but “Instinct Is Forever” is at least good. Apart from the apparent lack of substance, I don’t have a ton of complaints regarding what’s going on here. The content is good, I just think it could have been at least 10 minutes shorter and maybe more expansive/experimental.
Apart from some cool interludes, this album is fairly run of the mill. I did enjoy listening to it and will anticipate whatever Bastard Sapling comes out with next, but I don’t see myself continuing to listen to this all year. There are tons of great metal and hard rock albums that came out this year that will definitely tide me over. But, like I said, if you enjoy death metal and black metal, please give this a listen.
SCORE – 6.2
FAVORITE TRACKS – My Spine Will Be My Noose, The Opal Chamber, The Killer in Us All, Lantern at the End of Time, Forbidden Sorrow
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