Written by: Blackie Skulless
When something goes by the name Bear Mace and has “bears” as one of their lyrical themes, you have to assume it’s gonna be pretty silly. But that wasn’t quite the case, and the band in question's upcoming second album Charred Field Of Slaughter actually stays rather focused and hones in on general bloodshed. They’re a death metal act that hails from Chicago, Illinois, but sound like they could spawn from the charred field of Tampa, Florida.
Though things are a bit cleaner than what most of the OSDM pioneers laid down, the meaner buzz adds a chaotic shake. Horrid vocal work taking the gutturals to filthy limits with a slight echo is properly placed atop, caking on small hints of comprehensibility. The only complaint there is the fact that they can feel too “belch”-like at times. That aside though, this reeks of obvious influence from early Death, particularly the Spiritual Healing album. The progression in “Xenomorphic Conquest,” as well as the chorus, sound exactly like the title track from the famous Death record. The high-frequency wails only add more to it.
What’s also nice is how much the drums and bass spike through on the aforementioned song, spreading itself to all of Charred Fields Of Slaughter. This fits well with the rhythms that remain monotonous, tied together with intermittent solos in “Rogue Weapon.” Truly, the songwriting on here surprised me with how much of an impression it made. They do admittedly get less involved as you go, and some of the later songs like “Plague Storm” dry up uickly. Thankfully, the closer “Brain Rot” recaptures the feeling and goes out with a bang.
So it’s pretty safe to say that this was better than I was expecting. The single “Hibernation - Destroyed By Bears” is the only track that bluntly sticks to the pictured topic, and that song itself sets the stage well. Bear Mace is anything but silly, instead crafting dense riffs with a solid production and overall hefty songs.
Bear Mace - Charred Field Of Slaughter will be independently released on August 14th, 2020
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!