“Inside The Skull”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Here’s the second dose of primitive, eerie doom metal from Fresno’s Beastmaker. Even though these guys have many aspects that should be in my proverbial wheelhouse, I find them curiously unfulfilling. It’s probably due to the repetitive, uncreative nature of their sound, which hasn’t changed a bit from their debut “Lusus Natuarae”.

Their doom metal is raw, dark and very basic. The riffs are very simple and come across like a modern cross between Witchfinder General and Electric Wizard. The vocals are very British sounding and have a poppy but eerie drone similar to what Uncle Acid is doing…strange considering they’re from Southern California. The tunes are quite compact and nothing is over five minutes in length, which makes them a rarity in doom circles. Although this can all be considered positive, the songs all sound so similar that they run together into one big syrupy mass. In small doses, Beastmaker is very effective. Over a whole album, I’m struck by the absolute sameness of everything. Played back to back with “Lusus Naturae”, their material all comes across as one big track.

Once upon a time, the early 70s occult imagery would have tickled me, but that also has become very old hat and hardly worthy of notice. If you are in the right dreary kind of mood, Beastmaker might fit the bill, but this is very undemanding and monotonous doom.