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Old Beherit sucks dick - 32%

DaddyZeus67, April 12th, 2009

Before I start explaining as to why this album is so weak, I'll point out that I was never that much of a black metal fan. I actually hate most of the bands in the genre but Beherit...this band has been a definite stand out to me ever since I came across couple of their songs off of the album Drawing Down The Moon. This band sounded way different to what I'd usually expect from black metal as Beherit didn't just play bunch of power chords with tremolo picking among constant blast beats and record it through their cell phones as if poor sound quality would automatically create a strong atmosphere regardless of what the hell you're doing but these guys actually played their instruments properly and actually MADE their music atmospheric.

Of course I'd end up buying the album and enjoying it so much that I would start crediting Beherit as the best black metal band on earth (after the first wave BM). I also got their later ambient albums and really liked them too. Then one day I noticed that they had this "compilation" album that consisted of an old demo and some EP vinyl. On this site I noticed that it's widely considered to be Beherit's first full-length album so I just thought "hey why not?" and bought it.

Now for the first there is the songs from this demo entitled "Demonomancy". It starts with quite an atmospheric intro track lasting a bit under one minute. There's couple bang sounds in the very beginning and then you'll hear some whispering and that typical high and "bright" sounding ambientic noise from all horror films and "atmospheric" interlude tracks. It ends with a one big bang that sounds like thunder or something and next thing you know there's some very noisy guitars, sloppy blasting drums and someone yelling "metal of death!" on the top of it all. Yup, it's that typical raw quality black metal noise. The song clocks in before a minute has passed making it the shortest song of the album. But what happens after it? Well the album plays the same goddamn song again! And again! And again and again and fucking again. Every song in this album sounds incredibly identical and I found there to be more "hey when the fuck did this song change?" -moments than I'd wish to find even in an Anal Cunt album.

Guitar riffs....well there's hardly even any riffs! All through the album the guitar tracks only consist of some fast tremolo picked power chords with no other purpose than sounding "brutal" and noisy. There's no way anyone could decipher the guitars because every "riff" I heard here is completely inaudible and basically all you can hear is random noise. As said, trying to tell the song changes is very, VERY hard but trying to tell the "riff" changes is next to impossible. Somewhere under the wall of noise there's probably supposed to be the bass guitar that in this album happens to be the furthest fucking thing from audible. There is guitar solos in almost every song and each one of them sounds exactly like the shit I play when I just don't give a fuck about which notes I pick. What would you expect from generic raw produced black metal? Marty Friedman? Hah!

Vocals consist of very angry and retarded sounding growls and screams with the kind of articulation that to decipher the vocals you would desperately need the lyrics that unfortunately were never printed. I could only presume that Nuclear Holocausto is only screaming something among the lines of "All hail Satan! The lord of diabolical darkness and eternal sin!". It's not very hard to figure out the lyrical content of your typical "tr00 kvlt" black metal, you know. And what comes to the drummer, his playing sounds like something I'd expect to hear from a guy who started playing drums less than a fortnight back. So basically it's all really sloppy, noisyand random banging, especially when this guy doesn't even try anything else than blast beats!

There is some sort of an intro in the song "Witchcraft" that actually has coherent guitar riffing and even some melody. Then the drums start beating some kind of mantra there with growling vocals on the top of it all. But it only takes a minute and 5 seconds until it ends and then just another completely indecipherable "riff" would kick in, soon to be joined by random blast beats and that same indecipherable growling/screaming you would get for vocals in every single song here. So basically this song just turns into the exact thing all other ones on the CD are. Oh how great is that.

When 7th track ends, we apparently move to hearing another release that is the 7'' EP entitled Dawn Of Satan's Millenium. Luckily the intro track "Black Mass Prayer" makes it easy to notice that this is another release. This intro track features some nice gongs, whispers, mantra drum beats and the ambientic "noise" in the background to make it sound really dark. There's also some weird burpy "growling" or something like that to be heard in couple sections. Then suddenly the track morphs into the song "Beast Of Damnation".

Now this is pretty much the same "noise metal" we already had for 6 songs but it does sound different actually. For one, the production is obviously more ear-friendly than in that earlier played demo, the guitar tone is softer and less annoying than that way over-crunchy noise in the Demonomancy demo. And for two, the vocals sound really different. In this one Marko's vocals are pretty much the same as he does in Drawing Down The Moon, harsh whisperish screams and growls that may lack power but definitely boost the atmosphere of the music. They're still indecipherable but at least I can bare these vocals way more than those madass growls in those songs from the Demonomancy demo.

Guitar riffing is a little more coherent (thanks to the better sound quality) but still it's pretty much all about fast power chord smashing and really noisy scaleless shred solos and the bass is still completely inaudible, except during the solos. Drumming is surprisingly way more precise but other than that it's no different to the 6 songs played before. Just blast beats, blast beats and more blast beats. Overall the Dawn Of Satan's Millenium songs are more listenable than the Demonomancy songs but they all have the same problem: the incredible repetitiveness. The 3 last songs on The Oath Of Black Blood are all like the 6 first ones: fast and noisy black metal with no variety at all.

Although once again, there is one song that has a different intro but the rest of it would be just the same as the others. This time it's the short track "Hail Sathanas", starting slowly and with a kind of melodic guitar riff in support. You could almost think the whole song will sound as good and consistent as it starts off but nope, it only takes a bit over half minute until the same blast beats and the same chord smash guitars kick in.

Now at the end of the day, this album basically represents everything that's wrong with most of black metal these days and has hardly any relevance to the geniusly atmospheric and beautiful Drawing Down The Moon, and this probably explains why I played this album through only once and then abandoned it in my CD shelf for a very long time. Believe me, I really didn't want to write a negative review for this album since it's still the mighty Beherit but when I listened the whole album through again for this review, I just couldn't help constantly thinking that "God-fucking-damn, this is exactly why I never play this fucking CD! Noisy and sloppy shit and every song sounds exactly the same!" so now this will be my final decision. 32 points because of the atmospheric intro tracks ("Temple" & "Black Mass Prayer") and because of enjoying the Dawn Of Satan's Millenium songs for a moment.

I recommend this only to die-hard fans of Beherit and to all those who love raw and noisy black metal, but for people with thoughts like mine... I'd say you should just get Drawing Down The Moon and possibly give this one a shot once you feel you're ready.