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Bestial Evil - "Infectious Cross" (CD)

Bestial Evil - "Infectious Cross" CD cover image

"Infectious Cross" track listing:

1. See the Enemy (2:01)
2. From Carnage to Cannibals (1:52)
3. Kill the Wolves (2:45)
4. Draconians (2:50)
5. Decalcify the Pineal Gland (2:00)
6. Reaper in the Night (2:22)
7. Infectious Cross (2:26)

Reviewed by on August 30, 2016

"...overall 'Infectious Cross' had me head banging from beginning to end, and this opening salvo from the death/thrash crossover group is worth a listen and speaks of more brutality to come."

A newer U.S. offering on the metal scene, Bestial Evil's discography kicks off with full-length debut album “Infectious Cross.” Right off the bat I'm struck by the killer old school cover art that brings to mind a bygone era of death metal, and the music most certainly matches the style. These seven tracks are rooted in classic death played at a faster speed with some thrash leanings and just a hint of blackening in there to bring it all together.

There's an extremely visceral feel to these short and sweet tracks (most right around 2 – 2 ½ minutes) and the sound quality / production are way, way better than I was expecting for an unknown death metal band's first release.

An extremely chunky, heavy sound is brought to bear on any given “Infectious Cross” track, with two different vocal styles on display – one higher pitched and one on the lower end, the latter bringing to mind a deeper, faster paced Paul Kuhr. The way the vocals match the tone and speed of the guitars on “Decalcify the Pineal Gland” in particular really gets the blood pumping. On the instrumentation, there's a solid blend of thrash and death, with frequent dual guitar segments like on “From Carnage To Cannibal,” "Draconians,” and title track “Infectious Cross.”

“Draconians” brings in a slower marching beat for a change of pace, although the bursts of really fast screams placed in between the slower segments end up sounding quite choppy and disjointed before the band settles into a single pacing later on in the track. Even though the tempo changes are jerky and abrupt, they are necessary, as the previous two songs “From Carnage To Cannibals” and “Kill The Wolves” feel like one track with indistinguishable blast beat drums and fast picked guitars. That's probably the one major downside here – repetition and a lack of flash with the song transitions, as most end abruptly with quick fade outs.

Although there are a couple of the aforementioned weak links, overall “Infectious Cross” had me head banging from beginning to end, and this opening salvo from the death/thrash crossover group is worth a listen and speaks of more brutality to come.

Highs: Excellent musical chops and a solid blend of death, thrash, and black metal

Lows: There's nothing groundbreaking here, and the song transitions could use some work

Bottom line: These seven short and sweet tracks offer up a solid meshing of death and thrash metal for a memorable debut.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)