Bast are a London based blackened doom band that are re-releasing their debut album 'Spectres' simultaneously via Black Bow and Burning World records, with Black Bow handling the vinyl and cassette and Burning World the digital and CD.
The list of influences on display in this impressive debut is a varied one indeed. During the course of the five tracks on the album you'll encounter some thunderously heavy doom riffs, some black metal atmospherics and even a few sprawling, post-rock sections.
Album opener 'In The Beginning' starts with some clean guitars before breaking into a fantastically heavy seven minute epic reminiscent of black metal luminaries Winterfylleth or Wolves in the Throne Room. The dual vocals of guitarist Craig Bryant and drummer Jon Lee are one of the many highlights of the album for me with Lee handling the black metal style and Bryant delivering a vocal style similar to fellow doom merchants Conan.
The band drop the black metal on the second track 'Denizens', adopting a sound similar to sludge/post-metal bands Neurosis and A Storm of Light, before bringing it back at around the midway point.
Instrumental track 'Psychonauts' seems to be all about tone and ambience before introducing some tribal drumming and by the time you reach the end of this 11 minute epic, you'd think you were listening to some of the best that bands like Mono and Explosions in the Sky had to offer. This, and the haunting album closer 'Outside the Circles of Time' are the two standout tracks of the album for me.
Overall the band have done an amazing job in seamlessly blending together black metal, sludge, doom, post-metal and ambient into an impressive album. All of these influences fit within the extremely varied and unique five tracks, to make this not only an album that stands tall above most modern metal but makes Bast a band that I will be keeping a keen eye on in the future.