What happens when you take two doom bands whom have a mutual respect for each other and give them one side of an LP each? Possibly one of the heaviest records ever! ‘Totems’, from Black Bow Records, combines five previously unreleased tracks – three from Slomatics and two from Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard – and presents the ultimate in doom, though somehow without things ever feeling as if they’re verging on a pointless macho pissing contest.
This debut release by UK black/doom metal band Bast doesn’t mess about. A co-production between Burning World Records (CD) and Black Bow Records (vinyl; the label’s first release), the black and gold artwork sums up what you can expect to hear within almost perfectly; the package crossing that fine line from seventies doom into more modern black metal imagery. While only five songs are featured, the album clocks in at an album length 47 minutes: in traditional black metal style, these guys don’t so much expand on a sludgy musical idea as spend as long as possible pounding it repeatedly into your head until you bow down to their epic musical ideals. Not that repeated listening necessarily makes it any more palatable to the unenlightened, nor does it ensure any of the lyrical content is more audible.