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If Leviathan was a creature that devoured ships in the sea, this band will get you in a depression vortex from which you won’t be able to escape. From the first second you will be attacked by Leviathan’s intense suffering, which a lot of people compare to that of Xasthur. By comparison, I think that Leviathan are better, because there’s still enough action in the music to keep you listening, and it’s hard to get tired of this record.
The songs make you want to go to a store, buy a shotgun and turn your head into a mass of scorched meat. Seriously, Leviathan know how to maintain the “suicidal BM” feeling while giving some intensity to the songs. This isn’t any Nunslaughter album for sure, but there’s some speed inherent in the songs that make you wait until the final shoot.
While I don’t enjoy depressive Black Metal (a genre that produces a lot of mediocre and boring bands), I can make an exception with Leviathan. Verräter is a great collection of songs, and both the first and the second CD don’t fail to impress me. Although the 2nd disc has older and rawer material, it isn’t unlistenable crap. Instead, there are some great depressive tracks such as “The sinking”, that make you wonder why this band isn’t more famous.
In “Verräter” there is a lot of the typical things typical in BM mixed with more depressive stuff. I think that mixing slow tracks with fast songs is good, because that keeps you from get bored. Other great thing is the number of tracks: 22 songs that provide you enough sadness for the rest of your life. Just check “Sucking At The Teat Of Revenge”, with its varied rythms and intensity, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The sound offers what you should expect from these kind of bands: shrieks, fast drums with blast beats everywhere, and a guitar sound that seems to have been recorded in a grinder.
Leviathan has the sound that every depressive Black Metal band should have, and “Verräter” is the album that should get everyone into this genre. I really whish there would be more bands like Leviathan. Just for the front cover it deserves a 10! But nothing can be perfect, and this isn’t an exception…
Wrest is undoubtedly one of the leaders in the USBM scene and this collection of songs is an important one for anyone looking to become more familiar with his work or add to their collection. Verrater is significant not only because it includes Leviathan material previously only available on independent CD-Rs but because it represents material that establishes the foundation on which Leviathan and eventually Lurker of Chalice were built.
Verrater is actually 2 discs with German titles. The first disc is entitled Schadenfreude, which means deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others, and the second krankheit, or illness. Together they are prime examples of that raw Leviathan US black metal sound with a penchant for catchy riffs and melodies twisted to suit darker purposes.
Where Wrest truly excels is in creating atmosphere by effective use of unity, variety, and tempo. These elements are what made the Lurker of Chalice offering so appealing. Leviathan, meanwhile, attracted listeners with a grim, faster sound common to traditional black metal with creative elements introduced that could later be found on LOC. Not surprisingly, the material found on Verrater seems well aligned with both Lurker of Chalice and Leviathan. Certain songs, however, such as Courtship of the Discarded and Suckling at the Teat of Revenge are uncompromisingly Leviathan.
The preponderance of LOC type material might disappoint those more appreciative of Leviathan. Still, there is enough in common between the two projects that fans of either should be satisfied. Any complaints about this release could be expressed about USBM in general. Those not fond of the genre should steer clear. Verrater is simply a collection of previously released but harder to find material from one of the most important figures in the scene. Most importantly, Verrater should appeal to anyone interested in becoming more familiar with either of Wrest’s projects.
One day I stumbled upon this release, and figured Leviathan would have a fairly depressive and atmospheric sound (as they did a split with Xasthur). After listening to it, I realized that they are just another multi-releasing, over-hyped USBM act expressing their love for depression and suicide and hate for anyone who isn't grymm, evil, and covered in corpsepaint.
Now for the actual music. The riffs are normally generic, mostly sticking to basic, mid-paced power chord formations, rarely creating any atmosphere whatsoever, and often throwing in cheesey breaks in which cymbals crash to the beat of the riff and it continues in its simplicity. Songs continue as this for pretty much the whole double disc set. The vocals are simple torture screams, which I am not averse to, but the music itself I cannot tolerate. A few riffs have a disharmonized, depressive tone, but that hope for liking this album at all is killed by the second or third riff of the song falling into the lame, generic USBM sound.
If you're looking for something exactly the same as all post-2000 mutil-releasing USBM bands, go for this.