Portugal’s Besta has been releasing raging grindcore since 2012, with this year’s Eterno Rancor full length serving as their ninth release to date. For many of you in North America this may prove to be your first exposure to the band but their particular style is likely to be a familiar one, blending 80s grind and punk with just the right amount of death metal influence to make the sound as intense as possible. Spread across sixteen songs that run for twenty-two minutes in total, Besta does their best to blast with the best of them, but they have just the right amount of substance to keep you coming back for more.
The group keeps things moving at a brisk pace throughout Eterno Rancor, as only one of the sixteen songs reaches the two-minute mark. Besta crams a lot into these short lengths though, as even though they’re often blasting away at a fast pace there’s enough substance to the writing to grab your attention and moments like the melodic intro to “Oficio da Mentira” helps to break things up. Stylistically these guys fall somewhere between old-school grindcore and death/grind, with some of the tonality heading into the type of heavier riffing that you might get from Lock Up or Misery Index and there’s a lot of appeal in this particular mix. Compared to some of their previous releases Besta’s latest has a more polished feel when it comes to their production values, as the bottom end comes in with a lot of force but it’s just clean enough to make out the nuances of each of the riffs. The Bad Brains cover of “The Regulator” that finishes the record off is also worth mentioning as the band fully shifts gears over to the punk side of the spectrum and does the song justice.
Eterno Rancor switches things up often not only from an instrumental perspective, but also when it comes to the vocals. Rather than simply sticking with a single pitch for the entire run, you’ve got the entire span of high and low ranges represented throughout the album. The first pitch that comes in on many of the songs is a much higher scream that reminds me of fellow Lifeforce Records signee Teethgrinder, but there’s also a lot of lower growls as well that fill out the sound. From one minute to the next you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get, and the spontaneity of the performance works in Besta’s favor.
Besta may not be falling far from what you would expect from a death/grind album, but they do it with a level of precision and variation that can be hard to find in the genre. It may fly by fairly quickly but there’s a lot of substance to be had in that span of time, and this group is able to deliver the level of all-out aggression that anyone could want from this type of music. Eterno Rancor is out now on Lifeforce Records.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.