Rabid Beast

Rabid Beast

Like a raging tempest out of the American Midwest, RABID BEAST unleash a frenetic onslaught […]
By kenn staub
November 19, 2020
Rabid Beast - Rabid Beast album cover

Like a raging tempest out of the American Midwest, RABID BEAST unleash a frenetic onslaught of thrash on their self-titled EP. The Chicago duo play thrash like the original purveyors of the genre intended; with Eric Bauer blasting out complexly styled guitar lines that have the speed and aggression of hardcore while Paul Gillis growls critiques of societal maladies directly from-the-gut.

On "Decline Into Disorder" Gillis acts as an anguished narrator, declaiming deep from within, as the music takes the listener on an aural descent into chaos. The track is relentless, driving as it progressively approaches its spiraling conclusion. Tempo changes on this song, like on all others, are so subtle as to have occurred before I consciously perceived that they had taken place. This song ended too soon for my liking, sucking me in and leaving me wanting more.

"Existential Maelstrom" is a banger, centered upon a marching riff with a galloping line incorporated into the interludes. The rhythm and lead guitar part play off of each other as the song forges ahead. Just when I settled into the song's methodical nature, RABID BEAST lets it rip, racing frenetically into a classic thrash guitar solo. As much care was taken on musically constructing the song's outro as was put into all that preceded.

The song that put me most in mind of old-school hardcore had to be "First Among Equals." Not as structured or cohesive as the two previous tracks, the song went from somewhat cacophonous into a more settled rhythm. Faster and then slower, louder then softer, Bauer played the contrasts in an interesting point-counterpoint manner.

"Green Room Is Red" had a lighter overall tone that, perhaps, makes it the most accessible to a casual listener. Bauer's bass playing takes center stage at the one minute mark, with the song shifting from racing to methodical thereafter. The guitar solo in the body of the tune is once again classic thrash, high speed and technically demanding. Another guitar solo, this more sonic in nature, occurs with slightly under a minute remaining.

"Overlord" seems a bit more rhythmically stylized than the other tracks. It begins as a driving, churning guitar song, the solo guitar work blending into a cool background. Gillis makes his presence known one minute in and the song takes off. Things progressively ratchet up but remain clear and cohesive till the song's end.

Gillis and Bauer go for the throat right from the start, never backing down in this celebration of thrash. "Rabid Beast" is definitely more than worth its 24 minute playing length if you want to hear what the genre sounded like before more commercial bands watered it down in the quest for mass appeal.

8 / 10









"Rabid Beast" Track-listing:

1. Decline Into Disorder
2. Existential Maelstrom
3. First Among Equals
4. Green Room Is Red
5. Overlord

Rabid Beast Lineup:

Paul Gillis - Vocals
Eric Bauer - Guitars/Bass

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