Pak — Bestial
(Bandcamp Nefarious Industries NEF-48, 2019, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-12-02
Pak has been around since around 2000, mostly in a trio formation, and members have come and gone over that nineteen year period; the one constant throughout the lineup changes is guitarist Ron Anderson, who has been recording solo and with various bands since the early 80s, including The Molecules, RonRuins (duo with Tatsuya Yoshida), as well as sessions with Moe! Staiano and Vacuum Tree Head and many others; needless to say he’s a busy player and all-around creative force with a lot of different projects going at once, most borne of punk and hardcore sounds in a head-on collision with free metal, free jazz, and improvisation. The latest version of Pak, together since 2018 features Anderson (of course), bassist and synth player Steve Blanco, and amazing drummer Larry Kwartowitz; there are some grisly vocals on one of the tracks which makes for an interesting mix, but other than that the seven tracks herein are entirely instrumental. The approach is hard-edged and brutal, full of noise, heavy distortion, and chaos, but the recording is nothing short of excellent, so a listener can hear all the detail in the sonic punishment these guys mete out over the course of the set. Blanco’s bass moves are especially thunderous with the drums staying right on top of the operation offering complex rhythms and chaos all at once in a urgent megadose. Anderson’s guitar tends to be everywhere at once, some killing rhythms and riffs and blistering solos abound throughout, there’s a lot going on and it always seems to be changing and evolving. In short, Bestial is gonna kick your ass, and you’re gonna love every minute of it!
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