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Beyond Overated - 40%

BassLord, July 19th, 2007

Beherit has always been a very enigmatic and cult band, whos music varies dramatically from album to album. I was always intrigued by Beherit's sheer agression and dark atmosphere, but I find Messe Des Morts to be incredibly annoying, and to me, this material sounds like it was made as a joke.

The riffs are simple(even for Beherit) and not one of them has any worth to it. Some of the vocals are ok, but often we find Holocausto sneering jokingly, and even making sounds that resemble an enraged ape!

The songs are filled with random sound effects, and pointless keyboards that don't know when to lay off the vibrato wheel. The keys irritate the hell out of me, as they are neither dark nor do they add an atmosphere to the songs, they are just annoying.

But the drum machine...this is the worst thing about this release. I have nothing against using drum machines, but this is awful. It doesn't sound like the drums are even programmed, it sounds like someone playing keyboard drums who sucks at them. There are no bass drums used at all, only hi hat and snare that only play out of sinc blasts and thrash beats.

Archgoat's side is much better by comparison, though still not great. Simple, raw, thrashy black/death riffs completley devoid of melody slash away at varied paces from blasting to durge like. some Kerry King esque soloing is used here and there as well as additional effects like church bells and sparse keyboards. Whats strange about this band, is despite being considered a black metal band, the vocals are entirely growled in a death metal style, which isn't bad but it does get boring.

This split album is so overated, and I am really not sure why it recieves so much praise in the underground. Beherit have far better material and Archgoat are really only a "Kvlt" band because they recorded this one EP and then broke up for over a decade. Maybe this release is so highly regarded because it is such a chaotic mess, but that really isnt a reason to buy or revere it.

Whoa... - 90%

Spawn_of_Cthulhu, August 9th, 2004

This is one hell of an album. The two bands on this split, Beherit and Archgoat, use deliciously contrasting methods to pummel the listener into the ground. Both accomplish said task with great gusto in remarkably little time.

Beherit’s portion of the album, Messe des Morts, is shrill, demoniac, and totally hateful, like a lunatic madly slamming himself against the walls of his cell. The production is high and scratchy. The guitars are shrill and droning. The drumming is very simplistic and, I suspect, programmed. The bass is only semi-audible, and the vox… are completely fucking insane. Spitting, screeching, roaring, sneering, the vocalist sounds like some sort of infernal demagogue inciting his followers to slaughter. The use of high, buzzing keyboards adds a final layer of chaos.

Archgoat’s side of the split, Angelcunt, begins with an incredibly menacing keyboard intro and a gurgling voice pronouncing an incantation. Then everything explodes. Whereas Beherit is shrill and chaotic, Archgoat are more deliberate, methodical, and crushing. They know exactly what they’re doing, and that just happens to be utterly destroying you. The production is much lower and murkier than Beherit. The music itself is very brutal, almost death metal, with standard blasting-plus-tremolo passages alternating with slower, heavier parts. The vocals are rather low, reminiscent at times of Suffocation. Occasionally, there’ll be a teeny little keyboard sample (like the bell sounds on Rise of the Black Moon), which works nicely.

25 minutes of undiluted hatred, fury, and chaos. Highly recommended.

Classic material... - 90%

Snxke, July 4th, 2004

Archgoat and Beherit have joined forces to release on of the better split-releases of the black metal canon. With most splits being used for no other purpose than to cross-breed fan bases the overall feel of this CD is one of mutual disgust and hatred for all things conventional and even beautiful.

Beherit are at their insane best, with Holocausto smashing and crashing throught everything he can find, his maddening shriek maddening intact. The material is as strong as anything as Beherit has ever done and his side of the split (superior to the quality Archgoat material) makes for an impressive listen that is more than nessecary for any black metal fan.

The Archgoat portion is also very good, despite not matching to the insanity of Holocausto's throbbing death-vision. Solid songs, and a frenzied performance mark this side as the "carried" but quality portion of the split. There is no overall weakness to this material, and all black metal fans should be more than happy that it was combined with the legendary Beherit's work.

The artwork and presentation also bring force a diabolical mood with the ruins of a chapel shrouded in red light. Low key, giving only the needed information...this split is the perfect black metal sampler for all of those looking for something a tad more extreme than the ever-weakning Norse scene.

Buy or die...