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Not what you're hoping it will be - 40%

Moravian_black_moon, June 26th, 2008

Beherit’s “Drawing Down the Moon” is a classic black metal album in every way, and this album, “The Oath of Black Blood”, is almost held up as high as DDTM. I have no idea why.

Now I know Beherit are not exactly the best musicians in the genre nor do they have complex ideas. But on other recordings they give their sound such an evil and morbid essence that always satisfies me. But The Oath of Black Blood is really too muddled and raspy to even have that effect come to mind. Sure, it’s raw, but really that is all that could be said about this album that would persuade a fan to go for this. Even though the production is not too bad for a black metal album, the riffs are unintelligible in numerous cases and sometimes this goes on for 35-45 seconds. Full songs are even ruined because of this (“Grave Desecration”, “Goat Worship”)

In most Beherit songs, you can kind of decipher what Holocausto is saying in some passages. That isn’t possible here. He sounds sick and demented, that I’ll give him, but the only lyric I could make out was “Black Blood” in the title track (which is semi-whispered while the guitars aren’t playing.) “Black Mass Prayer” is a good occult instrumental with echoing tribe-like drums and creepy choir murmurs. This is a high-point of this album, but really, it’s an instrumental, and it beats out all the metal songs here. Not good.

I guess it comes down to what you are expecting from black metal. I enjoy musicianship and well thought out songs. This is more like a freestyle grind band trying to sound black. To me, this is not essential nor should it even be desired. All in all, in response to all of the hype surrounding this crap, it’s one of the bigger disappointments in the black metal scene and I’d advise you to stay away from it. And if you are a Beherit fanatic, you should at least download it if you plan on buying it. There is nothing memorable here at all.

The good instrumental “Black Mass Prayer”, Holocausto's sick but unintelligible vocals, the few good riffs in “Witchcraft”, “Hail Sathanas”, "Beast of Damnation", and the title track contribute to the score that I allowed this album to have.