Baest – Justitia (EP Review)

Baest – Justitia EP
Released: May 27, 2022

Line Up:

Simon Olsen // Vocals
Mattias Melchiorsen // Bass
Sebastian Abildsten // Drums
Lasse Revsbech // Guitar
Svend Karlsson // Guitar

Online:

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Denmark’s Baest are on a hot streak. Having released their excellent third full length Necro Sapiens just over a year ago, the five-piece are back with a new EP, Justitia. What we get is four new tracks, a cover and an instrumental take on one of the best songs from that previous record. For those out of the loop, the Aarhus-based group are rooted heavily in the classic death metal scene from both sides of the Atlantic; Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Bloodbath – their gore-soaked influence is all there, wrapped up in a big, contemporary production.

The rampaging title track kicks off the release with much ferocity. The main riff has an instantly neck snapping feel to it, pushed along by a wall of double kicks – yet still grooving. In fact there is metric ton of groove across all of Justitia, and an almost like a rock n roll swagger. Aborted frontman Sven De Caluwe pop ups during the middle section and adds his feral screams and roars to the back end of the number. ‘Gargoyles’ is an extra special number, albeit for sad reasons. The tune itself is a killer, pace-driven assault with some excellent riffage from guitarists Lasse Revsbech and Svend Karlssonand, and a great chorus to boot. It also features one of the last appearances of the late, great Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad, adding his high screams and low bellows to the bridge section. 

The seven minute ‘Ecclesia’ is a multi-movement epic. It bobs and weaves across various feels and sections, each passage delivering up chunky riffs and frontman Simon Olsen’s rumbling roars. The lengthy guitar solo passage sees Revsbech and Karlsson trading some classic, old-school style licks before a harmony run leads back into the main track. ‘Creature’ maybe doesn’t quite pack the same impact as the previous three songs, but it’s still packing all the band’s hallmarks, and the chorus is immediately headbang-able 

A cover of Entombed AD’sSecond To None’ is perfectly performed, and it serves as a nice tribute to LG Petrov who passed in 2021. Armed with the classic HM2 death metal tone, the boys honour one of their biggest influences and arguably outdo the original. The only low-point on Justitia is the instrumental version of ‘Genesis’ – the original is fantastic, one of the best tracks from last year, it’s just the instrumental version is a little unnecessary.

What separates Baest from the pack is their heavy focus on composing memorable songs, and they not afraid to rely on more conventional structures, with defined choruses and hooks. It’s not all just a blur of fast drums and guttural vocals – of course, there is that too, but it’s smartly not overused. Justitia is easily the finest EP of the year so far, and Baest are destined for big things – if you love old school death metal brought screaming into the new millennium, then these Danes are the band for you.

Baest – Justitia EP tracklisting:

1. Ecclesia
2. Justitia
3. Gargoyles
4. Creature
5. Second to None
6. Genesis (instrumental)

Rating: 8.5/10
Justitia is out May 27th on Century Media. Pre-order here
Review By – Andrew Kapper. Twitter: @andrew_kapper

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