Album of the Week: “Awaken” – Bestir EP

For this week, I wanted to give this band from Canada a little exposure. Bestir was a 5 piece metal band from Edmonton, Alberta who played a very unique style of doom metal combined with grindcore. These two genres almost seem contradictory to each other, however Bestir actually combined them in a way that is both visceral and dynamic.

Bestir - Awaken EP
Awaken EP

Their discography only consists of one EP called Awaken released back in September last year and clocks in a around 13 minutes. Musically, this record is pretty crushing. The bulk of the recording is filled up by the opening track “The Lies that Blind”, followed by “Throne of Vengeance” and “The Bewildered Heard”.  “The Lies that Bind” is a slow, dreadful and filthy 7 minute track which sounds foreboding as all hell. The song is about religious indoctrination, and Bestir passionately expresses their distaste for religion and how it lies to its followers. The song makes a point abut children; how easy they are to subdue and plant religious ideologies from a very young age so that they always stay within certain beliefs and become slaves for their religion.

The first song leads right into “Throne of Vengeance”, which hits us with some intense and violent grindcore. Listening to this, it sounds like Bestir has a very developed sound, and certainly Awaken does not sound like their first attempt a musical project. Then again members Bryan Newbury and Ben Harback have been involved with projects like Begrime Exemious, Into Eternity, and Untimely Demise, so there’s a lot of talent and influence going on here. Towards the end of the song, it hits with a nice breakdown which then leads into closing track “The Bewildered Herd”.

The third song is a lot more dynamic than the other two; it starts off rather sinister, and then leads into some more punishing grindcore, afterwards switching between some really sweet chugging and brutal grind. Really, I wouldn’t know how to imagine doom metal and grindcore coming together, but I would say Bestir executed this sound very well.

Shane Hawco
Shane Hawco

Also the production is clean but not over the top; still maintaining a brutal and harsh sound. The vocals performed by Shane Hawco sound extremely angry and a little raspy as well, especially on those highs. There’s a lot of vocal variation on Awaken due to the different styles of metal: on the slow, doom metal parts Shane pulls off some long, abrasive highs and mids, and during the grindcore segments he uses a more cropped version of the same growl. It sounds awesome, and you really feel the emotion through his voice. It’s a shame these guys broke up this year; I would of loved to here more from them!

Even though these guys broke up this year, I would still check them out and snag a copy of their EP while you can. Awesome release, and a shame we won’t be hearing more from them in the future. 7/10

Support Bestir!!!
Bandcamp and BigCartel

Signed,
Obscurum