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An Oath you must take - 95%

ArtOfWar, June 3rd, 2004

"The most noisy, simplistic Black Metal album ever recorded."
-S.O.D. Magazine - Issue #2

While not going as far as the editor of said magazine in my description (let's face it, he knows next to nothing about the BM scene, since there are many other releases that are a lot more chaotic then this), I do have to agree with his asessment that this is noisy. However, that's what makes this release what it is. We all know the back story here, Turbo took the band's demos without their consent, slapped them on CD, and created Beherit's debut album (and to a lesser extent, JL America released a completely fucked up version of this in the States). The result, while not sitting very well with Beherit mastermind Holocausto, was a cult classic of the Black Metal scene. Influenced by both Sarcofago and Blasphemy, as well as many others, Beherit created an album of pure noise and Satanic tyranny. The lyrics are pretty much indechipherable, but what you can make out is the typical "Satan and death" concepts you'd expect. Holocausto's style of whispering and growling is so fucking eerie, you can't help but be entranced by it.

As for the music, I won't lie...Beherit wasn't the most polished in this department. The guitars grind over and over, seemingly rehashing the same chords, and the drums are just almost out of sync blast beats. But you know what? That's how this album was meant to be! I can't, for the life of me, imagine Beherit sounding like anything other then they do here...and that is total war!

The production? Raw, gritty, dirty, in a word, sick! Don't expect some big budget Dimmu style production here. If you can't take the downright wall of noise type production presented by other BM bands in the scene, then run far away from this release. Turbo claimed they had remastered the demos to clean up the sound, but they must have taken about 5 minutes to do this. Screw them, this is the way it should be.

All in all, if you're just getting into Black Metal and want to avoid the cliche's and symphonic nu-metal crap, you need to pick this one up. You can find it almost anywhere, since there are several bootlegs out there. Seek out the original Turbo version if you can, since it has the tracklisting in it's correct order, and features the intro that was left off the JL America version (The Turbo version features the red Beherit logo, and album title in red, the JL version features a white logo and white album title). Unless you're a serious collector, avoid the "Early Years" bootleg, as it is just the JL version of the album with different (and lamer in my opinion) cover art.