Philadelphia’s Beldam have returned with a real crusher in Pasung, which sees the sludgy death/doom trio with their most vehement performance yet. Comparing themselves to acts like Graves At Sea, Crowbar, High On Fire, Coffins, Primitive Man and EyeHateGod (which I’m definitely hearing) this is an album where the vocals are a large part of the performance, feeling like a necessary component to the overall musicianship and not just a selection of vocals and lyrics as a whole. Parts of Pasung are indeed a slow burn, and the disc is also quite raw with amp feedback which mirrors a live performance. There’s an eleven-minute act of drudgery entitled “One From The Stable” which really puts this album into perspective, where the vocal edge there becomes more geared more towards the raspy side of the spectrum, rather than merely relying on death growls as other acts are wont to do. I’m reminded of early Rwake especially with this one as it definitely captures that whole era when the music was a bit more simplistic as a whole and the vocals said more than riffs ever could. That being said, it is good to hear the band experimenting a little more with clean melodies on “Sunken Sorceress” and “Carrion Feast” though, which add at least some clolor to this otherwise, rather horrifying showcase of emotional brevity. Pasung comes in fierce with no remorse to be found, albeit there are brief respites to be had between frantic bouts of heavy bass drops and scathing vocal approaches. If you’re looking for a listen that offers an unrelenting showcase of anger, frustration, blues and slight melancholy, then you need look no further than this.
(6 Tracks, 48:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)