Review – Beastmilk: White Stains on Black Wax (2014 Reissue)

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Review – Beastmilk: White Stains on Black Wax (2014 Reissue)
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Beastmilk: White Stains on Black Wax (2014 Reissue)
Depressive Black Metal, Goth, Horror Punk
Svart Records, Magic Bullet Records (2014)
2011 / October 10th, 2014
Release length: 6:03

Back in 2010, Helsinki, Finland’s Beastmilk released their now infamous two song cassette titled White Stains on Black Tape. The four-piece’s mixture of Black Metal, Horror Punk, and even Goth undertones was quickly picked up on and embraced by the underground starving for something fresh. Since then, it has been reissued not once, but twice. Back in 2011, Svart Records picked it up as a seven-inch vinyl pressing with a new name: White Stains on Black Wax. This was presented not long after their proper label debut EP Use Your Deluge. However, the demand still exists, and now Magic Bullet Records has stepped up with the band to unleash yet another reissue of the cassette on vinyl format. But what is it about this recording that has such a high demand from an undeniably rabid fan base, and will this vinyl version satiate them?

Much like the original cassette version, White Stains on Black Wax carries that early raw analog quality you’d expect from the sixties up to early eighties. This only amplifies the trippy mixtures of Black Metal and Horror Punk, leaving you with eclectic compositions on par with occult rock groups like Jess and The Ancient Ones or The Devil’s Blood if they were influenced by sixties Stoner Rock and The Misfits. “The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls” immediately hooks you with the subtle romance of Horror Punk and Black Metal with docile vocals reminiscent of Nick Cave and The Black Seeds and even a more melancholic modern Theatre of Tragedy. Meanwhile there’s “Blood Under the Mill”, leaving behind some of that Depressive Black Metal foundation for more of an entrancing Goth presence with some Punk riffs for the main verses that carry more of an electric “atomic age” presence that is hinted at in the lyrics of the previous cut.

The Magic Bullet Records reissue of White Stains on Black Wax does feature a bonus track, but it isn’t really anything of major interest to the casual listener. “Beastmilk” is actually a collection of short audio samples put together in a way that sounds like an inappropriate, and quite unfortunate end result of surfing through radio or television stations. These talk about war and oil, a woman who refuses to give her kids milk, a link between milk and toothpaste to cancer, and a woman who seems to be selling her “breast milk”, among other things. It makes sense in the grand scheme of the band’s experimental exploits, but unless you fall in the category of a rabid fan, this isn’t worth going out of your way to get if you already own one version of this, or the initial cassette pressing.

If you’re a fan of Beastmilk, you are already aware of the group’s gloriously trippy mixing of Punk and Metal genre’s into what can easily be summed up as some of the most addictingly original music available today. White Stains on Black Tape is easily one of the band’s best recordings to date, which makes it no small wonder why it’s also one of the most demanded small pressings you could ever hope to come across at a decent price. Thankfully the vinyl repressings manage to capture the same raw infection as the initial cassette release, and the Magic Bullet Records version even includes a bonus track that, while nothing major, will still appeal to the most dedicated of Beastmilk fans. But, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, any pressing of White Stains on Black Wax (and it’s first pressing counterpart) is absolutely a must hear, if not a must own.

01. The Winds Blows Through Their Skulls – 2:23
02. Blood Under the Mill – 2:37
03. Beastmilk – 1:03
Initial Pressing Score: 9.5/10

2014 Reissue Score: 9.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Magic Bullet Records
via Earsplit PR.