E.P. Review: Bat Magic – Feast of Blood

E.P. Review: Bat Magic - Feast of Blood
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

According to the usually reliable Metal Archives, this E.P. from US six-piece Bat Magic was released last July. It might have been 1991 given the quality of the production, but I guess that the band, who bear some of the most ridiculous monikers ever seen, intended the production to be functional at best.

To be honest, whilst I’m usually quite comfortable with black metal pseudonyms, the ones here are just hysterical. I’m not sure how catchy the name He Who Drinks the Blood of Sleeping Babes is to his band mates, but I reckon his mum doesn’t call him that when dinner is ready. And he only plays the keyboards.

Cloaked in this veil of mystery, hidden behind their sinister aliases, Bat Magic are free to deliver 22 minutes of rudimentary garage style black metal. I’m going to be honest here. It’s pretty shocking in quality. The traditional and imaginatively called ‘Intro’ segues into the dark echoing chasm of ‘Blood Pact of Ordo Vampyr’. Howling vocals, visceral riffs and a drum sound that vibrates terribly, it’s a real attempt to return to the Norwegian sound which was prevalent in those early 1990s. Downtuned guitar work, and a runaway feel that suggests not everyone is fully in control of what they are playing.

E.P. Review: Bat Magic – Feast of Blood

This chaotic approach continues with middle track ‘Solis Mors’, which is the longest song here, clocking in at over seven-minutes. There’s a bit more substance to it, a driving rhythm that at least indicates that the band had some idea of what they were aiming for and it’s a little more controlled. This leaves us with the concluding ‘Solis Corpis’. Full of frenetic tremolo riffing, and a savagely bad sound, I’m just glad I didn’t have headphones on for this – the shrill hammering that resonates making it the soundtrack to root canal treatment. It’s rudimentary, raw, with thick keyboards and full of passion and energy.

Ultimately, ‘Feast of Blood’ is an E.P. that I doubt I’ll ever play again. There is much better music around in the genre and whilst I admire the band’s drive and determination, it’s not one that lingers long in the memory.

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