BAT is a relatively new speed metal supergroup that hails from the US. The big name on this project is Ryan Waste, of Municipal Waste fame, but the band’s other members have no shortage of experience in other great bands as well. “Cruel Discipline” is the follow-up EP to the band’s first demo “Primitive Age” that was released a couple of years ago, and this EP is the very definition of short but sweet. The two songs here don’t even break 5 minutes combined, but they get their point across very quickly. Both songs follow the Midnight black ‘n roll/speed metal formula that is built on dirty old-school sounding riffs. The vocals are gruff and aggressive, but entirely understandable. There is a somewhat hilarious vocal break in “Cruel Discipline” that is enjoyable just because of the sheer absurdity of it. After all, no matter how great Ryan Waste’s vocals are for this sound, he’s not exactly the guy who should be doing a vocal solo. Aside from the vocals, there is plenty of punk influence, of course, and this gives the band a lot of attitude. The production is outstanding; it really is perfect for this style of music, especially because the bass cuts through the mix well. The sound is not particularly clean, but easy to understand.
Of the two tracks, the title track is the stronger cut, largely because of its incredible guitar solo. One thing I always dig about these 80s speed metal worship bands is that they have phenomenal guitar players who understand how to construct a great solo, and “Cruel Discipline” proves this easily. The solo on “Rule of the Beast” is a bit more frantic, but is good nonetheless. This second song is a bit faster than the first, but very much in the same vein of worshipping Venom.
Ultimately, “Cruel Discipline” is an impressive release. Its only flaw is that it is too short. Perhaps these guys are too busy with their other projects, or they’re sitting on a goldmine of an album waiting to be unleashed, but two songs is too few in this case. For the right price, this is a definite must-buy, but more importantly, it also clearly marks a band that you should keep on your radar for the inevitable full-length.
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"Rule of the Beast"
4.5/5 or 90%.
Written by Scott