Fischel's Beast

The last year (2008) it was some kind of a double dynamite striking hard regarding […]
By Grigoris Chronis
January 22, 2009
Fischel's Beast - Commencement album cover

The last year (2008) it was some kind of a double dynamite striking hard regarding a mythical 80s US Metal band that once delivered the monumental Depths Of Death album (1986 - Metal Blade). In spring it was the whiplash performance of the resurrected SENTINEL BEAST at Greece's Up The Hammers festival and really late in December it's the self-released CD of original SENTINEL BEAST guitarist Barry Fischel torturing the CD player in non-stop mode. Real pleasure...
Barry Fischel departed from the SENTINEL BEAST camp in 1989 and - ever since then - had in mind to some day release most or all of the tracks once destined to be featured in the never happening second SENTINEL BEAST full-length album (that's another story). While Barry experimented on other music genres too (e.g. he formed a cover band doing Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Winter renidtions) his mind never left that rusty idea. Building up a project to record these tunes he got the band a name blessed by SENTINEL BEAST's original bassist Mike Spencer plus permission from SENTINEL BEAST singer Debbie Gunn for her songwriting credits (Debbie had - by that time - reformed SENTINEL BEAST with rookie musicians) and... cut a long story short, here's a bunch of five titles (Commencement acts like an intro) from FISCHEL'S BEAST featuring original SENTINEL BEAST axeman. One Man's Cry and Where Am I carry the lyrics written by Debbie Gunn years ago while the remaining concepts were penned by newcomer singer Anthony Cross (the song names Forbidden Territories and The Phoenix were Debbie's, as stated in the band's MySpace page). This is of historical knowledge only of course, since all the songs included in Commencement are fuckin' awesome! Preserving and delivering the SENTINEL BEAST spirit, you'll listen to some thrashin' Metal molten songs with endless rage, non-stop energy, cruel production giving 100% justice and an immense songwriting that will surely keep the Metal flow on and on in your CD player (35 minutes for 5 songs you'll never get tired of).
The voice of Cross is vicious yet unveiling a melodic aspect too (imagine a more nasty version of Joey Belladonna) and the riffs of Fischel are striking. The dual leads are dominant, the bass/drums tempos exchange in furious ease, there's a malevolent atmosphere present and the likes of (of course!) SENTINEL BEAST, old SLAYER, old METALLICA and 'elusive' IRON MAIDEN proudly bring on their mark to Commencement like you'd never imagine. Indeed, if a fan of that fuzzy American Thrash Metal of the 80s listens to Commencement a possible heart attack is not out of the question...
With FISCHEL'S BEAST recently announcing they're already working on brand new material for a future release, this private release pumps out of nowhere and strikes hard. It really does. I cannot even try to imagine how that second SENTINEL BEAST album would have sounded like, to be honest...
P.S.: Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE, METALIUM, DOCTOR BUCHER, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) guest on two tracks over here. An old friend, should we suppose?

8 / 10


"Commencement" Track-listing:

Commencement/Forbidden Territories   
The Phoenix
One Man's Cry
Fate Of Kings
Where Am I

Fischel's Beast Lineup:

Barry Fischel - Guitar
Anthony Cross - Vocals
Ed Klinger - Drums
Eric Mauriello - Bass

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