Album Review: Bhas – Torture Punishment Eternity
Bhas is a 5 piece death metal band from Glasgow, UK, comprised of vocalist Lee Lewis, drummer Conor Quinn, bassist Danny O’Keeffe, and guitarists Mark Williamson and Alasdair Blair. Their new album, Torture Punishment Eternity, features genre staples such as guttural vocals, dissonant guitars, and high speed drumming. The album art is black and white, but hyperrealistic. The detailed drawings of contorted faces and exaggerated pain, are common practice in extreme metal subgenres. (A fun easter egg is that the characters on the album cover, are based on the 5 band members themselves!) This release is everything you could expect of death metal. There’s nothing but blood, guts and gore, in everything from the music to the lyrics to the art style.
This ambitious music is as atmospheric as it is heavy. Some passages are slow and sludgy, while other melodies are fast and aggressive. These clashing styles are reminiscent of Nordic metal bands who blend several different metal genres together. For example, the Finnish band Impaled Nazarene is largely considered to be a black metal band, but there is a clear influence of Death Metal and Thrash Metal (which in turn was influenced by punk rock). Similarly, Bhas is a band that makes a wicked brew with all the hardest and most brutal genres, all stewing together in the same blasphemous cauldron.
Bhas is a black sheep of the metal world. This EP is unique and creative, but it still hints at fairly mainstream bands like Mayhem and Emperor. This EP features remastered songs from their unreleased Demo. Part of the appeal of extreme, black, and death metal, is the mystery and rarity of more obscure releases. The darkness of their art, their nihilistic lyrics, and their violent music are not for the faint of heart. Check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook. Three stars out of five!