Greenville, South Carolina sludge/stoner/doom outfit Tar Hag releases Bestial, a six-track collection of visceral, grinding doom metal.
Made up Beeg (lead vocals), Dano (guitar, vocals), Kyle (drums), Colin (guitar), and Zoli (bass), there is little gen available on the band.
In 2018, Bandcamp published an excellent article – The Humid Heaviness of Greenville, SC’s Metal Underground – by Eli Enis, in which Eli, writing about Tar Hag’s first album, Elder Cloak, declared, “Tar Hag sound like what their name implies: sticky, sweltering bog music with melodies that drip and ooze ominously. If albums had scents, their 2017 effort Elder Cloak would reek of putrid muck.”
Bestial begins with “Frozen Prayer,” opening on cavitating stormy airstreams segueing to a grinding guitar, followed by the entry of the thrumming bass and another guitar, adding black dimension to the harmonics. Crunching, off-center percussion infuses the rhythm with chunky obliquity as the guttural guitars growl forth foggy bemoaning tones whetted with prodigious dirty coloration.
Highlights on the album include “Cu Sith,” a track groaning with heavy supercharged menace as chugging guitars slug out roiling waves of dark energy, conjuring up visions of Tartarus congested with toiling fiends. The rumble of Beeg’s chanting, barking voice imbues the lyrics with reckless dynamism.
“Fathoms” opens on a raw, keening guitar leading to the entry of a cryptically blistering guitar, adding a juxtaposed layer of grimy texture. Like an ominous spell of pitch-black magic, the surging leitmotifs inject the throbbing melody with chaffering expressions, expanding on rollers of agitating reverberations. A fulminating, wild guitar rides atop the thundering grungy expulsions, infusing the tune with erupting colors.
“Lyceon” projects thick strata of shadowy sonic gesticulations, as if out of a madness on the scale of matter – pulverizing the dynasphere with otherworldly squalls of squirming fractal descent, while Beeg boils the atmosphere with abrasive protests.
Engulfed in textures tantamount to rotting metal sucked into a gravitational well, with Bestial, Tar Hag enters the realm of full-spectrum doom dominance.