Beldam call Seattle their home but you’d be forgiven for thinking they dwell in some murky wasteland on the outskirts of hell, such is the infernal rancour of their blackened sludge/doom noise on sophomore effort, Panung!
With influences ranging from the diverse likes of stoner gods Sleep, sludge legends Eyehategod and Primitive Man and the doomy sounds of Graves at Sea and the mighty Black Sabbath, Beldam lurch from the undergrowth, teeth bared, buzz saw guitars raised and gut-rumbling bass readied to tear you limb from limb. These are songs that equate to nightmarish visions of death, doom and despair and Pasung is the kind of album designed to traumatise even the hardiest of metaller! Still, we gave it a go anyway!
Incidentally, Beldam means a “a malicious or loathsome old woman” and that definition kinda sums up the vocal approach of frontman Randall Guidry, with all manner of hideous shrieks and animalistic growls emanating from the throat of this most masculine of old crones!
It’s testament to Beldam’s savagery that you simply daren’t turn this shit off for fear of mindless retribution. Basically, it’s fucking scary and Beldam seem to take great pleasure in meddling with the hellish, charcoaled sounds of Satan’s ruptured spleen.
Your immediate reaction to Pasung may be to run and hide from its snarling onslaught. Which, of course, is a compliment! 7/10