Coming across a previously unknown band that exudes passion and ambition and demands the world to unconditionally surrender and kneel is without doubt one of the most joyful experiences even for the grimmest, battle-hardened veteran of many a metal war. Enter Basilysk, with their debut full length Emergence, driven by insatiable hunger, eager to devour everything within its impact radius. Ageless both in spirit and execution, Emergence forms a rupture in time and space that Basilysk rips wide open with vicious riffs and wildly flailing yet skillfully steered exuberance.
It instantly becomes clear during the intro build-up of “Molestor of Dreams” that Basilysk is here neither to negotiate nor take any prisoners with their assault that combines the primal power of furious death metal with the foaming-at-the-mouth exhilaration of thrash metal and the snarling essence of black metal. This initial mission statement is however humble warm-up and mere prelude to the incandescent fury of “Sinners of Their Own Reality” and its thundering gallop of a thousand hooves and merciless enfilade of oscillating riffs. This is where Basilysk truly flexes its collective muscle in the performance and songwriting department, by proceeding confidently with unstoppable momentum provided by a series of ear-worm riffs, scouring leads and ominous chanting, culminating in a furious dash where Josh Perrin’s coarse paint-stripping roar leads the final charge through the shrapnel rain and shower of bullets.
This album highlight is immediately followed by another gem, “Sad State of the Arts,” which reveals additional facets of Basilysk’s arsenal by steadily shifting gears, starting from its opening thrash rampage, settling briefly to a swaggering joyride of a groove, before evoking sensations of Napalm Death, Discharge and early Sepultura. And permeating all this headbanging excitement, a blissfully dirty joyfulness. This impeccable one-two punch is where Basilysk especially shines with a riveting immediacy, never derailing forward momentum or lapsing into pointless showboating or needless embellishment.
Forming an intriguing end note, the CD-exclusive hidden instrumental track “Clouds” is a dreamy yet surprisingly uplifting Morbus Chron-ian testament to the band’s ambition and foreshadows the progression and glory to come in the future that appears bright enough to burn the retinas of anyone foolish enough to doubt Basilysk’s direction. The band possesses and radiates timeless qualities, akin to hearing the metal heroes of your formative years for the first time; coupled with a firm understanding of the power of riff and budding progressive inclinations, the road ahead for Basilysk shimmers with a promise of future volleys of excellence. I, for one, cannot wait for their next onslaught to arrive.