March 13, 2012 | , | 4

Bastard Priest, Ghouls of the Endless Night

Bastard Priest: Ghouls of the Endless Night

With an album cover like the one above, I can honestly say that I didn’t really expect much from Bastard Priest’s Ghouls of the Endless Night — well at least based on the logo, some heavy handed Entombed worship. What I ended up with, however, isn’t merely a rehashing of your standard old school Swedish death metal sound.

Of course, you’ve got your Entombed and Dismember influences to be found throughout the album’s eight tracks, but the healthy dose of Discharge in the mix, in terms of music and attitude, is quite a surprise. Hell there’s even a decent helping of early Floridian death metal (“Sacrilegious Ground”) in there at times as well. Ghouls of the Endless Night obviously isn’t wholly original, but the way these guys play certainly helps separate them from the swarm of old school mimics.

“Pestilent Force,” one of my favorite tracks on the album, is an absolute ripper of a song, exploding out of the gate with pummelling rhythms, off-kilter buzzing riffs and snarling vocals. The title track slows things down just a touch with galloping rhythm, Entombed-influenced riffs and a dense overall vibe. The leads on “Enter Eternal Nightmare” are loose and destructive, but fit the tone of the song nicely.

As good as the first half of the album is, it’s not until the last two tracks, “Last Scream” and “Enormous Thunder of the End,” where these guys really impress. The first builds quickly with a sick lead and thick riffs as the band settles into a solid groove of chugging guitars with steady, thundering rhythm. The album closer starts slowly with cold guitar tones before nose diving into a maelstrom of blasting drums and frantic riffage just after the one minute mark. Holy hell this is a solid way to end out a decent album.