I think we all know great bands that go totally unnoticed, so much so that it’s annoying to see them go unnoticed. Today I bring you one of those bands. Back in the distant year 2019, before everything went to shit by a certain pandemic virus, I discovered not only their previous album but one of the best technical thrash bands of today. How is it possible then that you don’t know them, see them on tour, appear in the media or festivals? I ask myself the same question. Then I remember veteran bands that are clear influences for them and are equally or worse placed in the mainstream radar-like: TOXIK, WATCHTOWER, or TARGET and my soul falls to my feet. Life is not fair my friends, that’s why I’m doing my bit by dedicating some sincere words to them and hoping from the bottom of my heart that this reaches more people.
The Olympic leap that these Ukrainians have taken is brutal and, of course, ambitious. We are entering the world of concept albums and with it, a perfect opportunity to show overflowing creativity in an unparalleled test of fire. The theme of the divine comedy and the deadly sins will be overexploited, but when it is well treated, it doesn’t matter. You will see it and more importantly you will feel it! In your flesh with vibrant intensity, it is absolutely guaranteed.
It is precisely thanks to this that the themes, which already pointed to exponential growth, have already acquired the biblical, sacred and incorruptible consonance necessary to enter the listener. Impeccable and innate execution. Main ingredients that are in themselves overloaded, take advantage of all this culture to achieve only what a few can: Injecting romanticism and libido (both literal and musical) into a vein, without suffering tedious overdoses of technicalities, making the difficult seem easy and personally recreating the deadly sins to perfection. Impossible not to feel the hunger craving in «Gluttony«, the peak of orgasm in «Lust«, the loneliness of those poor souls of the unborn in «Limbo» or the lack of Christian faith in «Heresy«.
It is clear that while they have not tapped into the progressive metal genre, they have inherited the great virtues or aura of progressive metal when used in concept albums. The depth and sense of in crescendo on albums like QUEENSRYCHE‘s Operation Mindcrime or FATES WARNING‘s Parallels are very much present, a lot of justified greatness that comes across as you see how they have lowered the revs to increase the atmosphere and induce you into what would undoubtedly be a ride through hellish circles. Just when you think the composition can’t get any bigger, there’s a new twist, a brilliant turn of phrase, or an implosion that rewrites the rules of the game. They create in that way energy out of redemption. Maybe the thrash charge is not so primordial. It’s something that shouldn’t be a concern because it hasn’t been lost. It benefits continuously and merges very well with heavy, as well as the tasteful speed that can remind of SANCTUARY. The piecework always takes care of putting you in your place and surprises not only for that but also for its immense way of sliding through your auditory system. It’s light as a feather, razor-sharp, and above all, full of quality feel.
Speaking of feeling, we can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about the more than obvious ATHEIST influences in their music. While they are not as blatant as on previous albums, the times they appear will make your blood acidity level rise higher than your cholesterol. This is due in part to the jazz parts. Unstoppable as Serg MP‘s bass strings take over and spur the song on. Devilishly funky, jazzy, and groovy rhythms are an unrivaled weapon of seduction. If we have to choose a specific ATHEIST album to place you in, it would be Elements, so keep your eyes peeled if you like this comparison. However, this whole mix would not be possible without a very important factor that I have to elaborate on a little bit.
You see, sometimes what makes the difference in music or vocals is knowing how to project in such a way that it reaches deeply and makes you feel full of plenitude or power, a journey of sensory or sexual self-exploration. When it comes to live performance, this comes together with another factor. Knowing how to reach both those in front of you in the front row and those who are watching from the back, transmitting equally regardless of distance or social class. That’s why titans like Bruce Dickinson or Ronnie James Dio are so great and will be so remembered after their death, apart from their great vocal skills, of course. Maybe BESTIAL INVASION‘s approach is too convoluted and doesn’t have the same impact these days to make such a mark. However, I think they have come very dangerously close to that on this album. Now, as far as the singing voice is concerned… I can only say that we’ve reached that point.
Apart from the fact that we have a gifted voice that, at times, sounds almost like the legendary singer of the IRON MAIDEN, it is also capable of reaching high notes worthy of KING DIAMOND. Thus, we are faced with what is undoubtedly V. Zadiev‘s best performance in BESTIAL INVASION. The number of arrangements, choruses, tones, and other tricks he manages to do with his voice is worthy of the highest praise. The same can be said of the instrumental part. Incredible purity that they have intermingled using the best of various purist worlds. They manage to respect the conservatism of everything and that, my friends, is a lot. More than a lot if we have on the table as main course the very deadly sins. Because of this, I’m sorry for not highlighting specific themes, but that’s the way it is. It is one of those albums that due to its musical and conceptual nature is useless to even contemplate. Everything is unthinkable and functional, on all existing levels.
I have to say that it is one of the best albums I have heard this year and yes, it will be in the famous and tedious top 10 for my part when it’s my turn. I wouldn’t like to say goodbye without mentioning the great collaborations on the album: André Grieder (POLTERGEIST), Valery Gaina (CRUISE), Jason Gobel (ex CYNIC), Josh Christian (TOXIK), and John Gallagher (RAVEN). Honestly, I think BESTIAL INVASION would have achieved the same result without the collaborations, but I’m sure it was a pleasure for them to give their heroes space on their album, as much as it was for me to listen to them (they are my heroes too) and what do you want me to tell you. If with this they manage to get some incautious or foolish negationist to listen to their album and be as impressed as I was, they’re welcome!