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even if the band didn't like it, it rules - 95%

stonetotem, April 1st, 2009

Here we have the first full-length release from the seminal black/death metal band Beherit. There is a lot of negativity surrounding this album since it was actually just a combination of two previously released recordings, never intended to be an album by the band and released without their permission since they failed to provide an album to Turbo Music. Furthermore, many fans of Beherit focus on the cleaner and more defined second album "Drawing Down the Moon" and see the early demos/EPs as being immature, noisy and lacking musicianship.

Well who gives a shit about that? Beherit were delivering the most filthy and barbaric black/death metal, on the scale of influential bands such as Blasphemy and Sarcofago. Their pre-Drawing Down the Moon recordings were key in this style and were hugely influential on a slew of bands over the coming years. And not only does the raw and filthy late 80s/early 90s black/death metal style rule, Beherit were some of the best at it.

The album begins with a blast of noise and an eerie synthesizer with some whispering. Then the first song kicks in. The drums are blasting, the guitars incessantly buzzing and the vocals grunting and growling sporadically. Everything on the recording is audible. It's not nearly as filthy as their earliest demos. The guitar sound is a little hazy, but everything basically fits. It's all very fast, violent and angry, but also with the strange ritualistic sounds they would expand on with Drawing Down the Moon. It isn't quite as violent and brutal as say Blasphemy or Bestial Warlust, staying more on the black metal side of the spectrum, but it's still fast and heavy. The guitar solos are pretty amateur noise solos wildly scratching in a few songs. The musicianship here isn't amazing, but that's what's required for this kind of sound.

All in all this is an important album in the early black/death metal sound and a good place to start with Beherit. Honestly, if you don't like this album don't even bother with the genre. Their earliest demos are also a good place to go if you want even filthier production. Drawing Down the Moon is also an excellent album, but this one shouldn't be cast aside just because it wasn't intended to be regarded as their debut. It's still a powerful album and always a fun listen.