Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Snuff metal fury from Basement Torture Killings on There's Something About Beryl

SNUFF videos created panic in the 1980s with their alleged depiction of real life murders and depravity. Some extreme metal acts take that cue and feature tales of murder, often with violent misogynist leanings.

Many find this uncomfortable. The connotations are one thing; but are they a reflection of a band's real views? Or are they a cathartic release? And, crucially, do they influence fans' behaviour?

If horror movies and violent video games have failed to turn generations into car stealing drug barons with a penchant for shooting people using automatic weapons then it is unlikely that an extreme metal act - which is usually so far beyond the mainstream - is going to cause distress to Daily Mail readers. Well, we can only hope that Basement Torture Killings manage to as it would create a sales surge.

The latest incarnation of Basement Torture Killings is 'There's Something About Beryl' featuring the new singer who is called...Beryl.

A total of 11-tracks of putrid pleasure, with the stench of rotting bodies, the aroma of deviant chambers wrapped up in delicious death metal depravity.

With track titles such as 'Shit Carcass' and 'Abduction Torture Snuff Porn' you know that (1) Ed Sheeran fans won't be checking this out on Spotify and (2) this is what Basement Torture Killings do best.

Except, this time there are a few twists and turns. Death/grind will always be at the core of what BTK do, but Tarquin and company do this time is ever so slightly introduce some wrinkles with added dashes of thrash and some blackened death.

This is not some attempt to widen the fanbase. This is taking the vicious attack and adding a few deft knife thrusts and bringing the touch of the scalpel (on soft, yielding flesh...) to the sound.

Certainly Beryl's addition adds a dimension to the vocal department, allowing Tarquin to flow more freely.

Given that 'There's Something About Beryl' is released by Northern Ireland's Grindscene Records it is perhaps appropriate that there is a cover of one of Northern Ireland's own bands songs. The BKT take on Therapy?'s 'Knives' adds to the disturbed menace of the original through even more menace.

Existing fans of BKT will no doubt be happy with this release, but we have a feeling that this might reach out to some more, willing to explore their dark side. And, if some idiot thinks they want to re-enact the songs content, may we suggest you see a shrink first...

The rest of us will wallow in the deviancy happily.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

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