Well this was indeed a looooong time coming. For not only is Australia historically been one of the finest hotspots for underground metal, but the mighty Bestial Warlust definitely ranks as one of its finest exports. This EP got swept under the rug and forgotten for many years now, and Hell’s Headbangers finally did us all the courtesy of unleashing it. So was it worth the aeons-long wait?

Well, the end result ended up being a bit of a mixed bag. It turns out half of the band had defected to other projects (namely the veritable Abominator and Destroyer 666) and left a shell of a band that is the Bestial Warlust we came to obsess over. The music is slightly more restrained, a bit calmed down, and hardly as chaotic as it once was. I immediately thought of the transition Impaled Nazarene made on “Suomi Finland Perkele” from their prior works. Not entirely “pulling a Metallica”, but a noticeable change in direction nonetheless. Granted, it’s truly a demo/EP in the truest sense with only three songs to offer. Is it a bad death metal album? No, certainly not. It’s aggressive and dark and catchy, to say the least. Is it a good Bestial Warlust album? Hardly, for it doesn’t measure up to their previous two efforts that are truly legendary and will always be talked about. So in that regard, it does somewhat disappoint. But alas, we finally have it in our hands, so why look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

Also, I can’t help but call out Hell’s Headbangers on how undignified this presentation is overall. It comes in a clear slim snappy case that feels like old AOL junk mail discs that would come in…there’s no notes or anecdotes or extra info for a final release from such a significant band, and even the band name and album title on the skinny spine and too small to notice. Why is this? It’s very much an affront to such a revered band! Was it hurried to be released, or was it just treated like “Eh…”, since it a demo/EP from the late 90s, so so what? I don’t know. What I do know is I was super excited for this and instead of a bang I got a whimper. Well, it is fairly cheap, so on that note there isn’t too much room to be bitter. It’s just sad, they were so awesome in their time…. (FA)

www.hells-headbangers.com