Naas Alcameth had a busy last week with two releases from his bands Nightbringer and Bestia Arcana. Nightbringer was expected, but Bestia Arcana was the surprise of the week as the second album, Holókauston, had a later release date.
Then a portal from Hell opened and spewed forth two albums near simultaneously.
If you heard Bestia Arcana’s first album, To Anabainon ek tes Abyssu, you know what to expect. But brace yourselves for an even better follow-up. I like To Anabainon but I am feeling Holókauston even more. This is the dark shit we can expect from Naas with some crossover into the Nightbringer sound. Of all of Naas’ projects, I feel Nightbringer and Bestia Arcana share the most in common. Akhlys shares similarities as well, but the other two could almost be interchangeable.
The opener “Hellmouth” is the beast of the album. I’m a firm believer in delivering raised horns early in an album and Bestia Arcana gets right to work with 10 minutes of dark, discordant guitars as Naas’ ritual-like vocals carry us through to the much faster and chaotic “Obscurator,” which I think could have been a slower Behemoth song with different vocals because Nergal is no Naas.
The most nightmarish song of the album has to be “Howling” with it’s slower pace and darker sound, especially after the four minute mark where it turns into basically just atmospheric sounds, marching drum and invocations. This is the kind of stuff we can always expect from Nightbringer/Bestia Arcana – loud, dark, Satanic shit played in a more esoteric fashion.
Serving as fitting closer, “Iniquity” is more rhythmic pounding and Hell-hole opening sounds from this crew. I think this track is the least unique of the album, but it still gives the neck muscles a workout because you can’t not headbang to the sounds of Bestia Arcana as the album draws to a close with up and down discordant fret work, transitioning into a truncated dark opera movement to finish.
The digital copy of Bestia Arcana’s Holókauston is available now on Bandcamp from Dark Descent Records for $7. The physical release isn’t until June 16.