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Original and excellent piece of dark music - 96%

Soturnus, March 31st, 2006

Belmez is a unique band. It's only one member who sings and plays the guitar with a drum machine. Nothing else. Somebody might imagine that the band's music is simple or too basic because of that, but this debut-album "Berserker" is exactly the contrary. This album is complex and intricate, sometimes it's even difficult to assimilate. But it doesn't mean that it's not brilliant. And it IS brilliant. The nine tracks presented here are enshrouded in a unique atmosphere, with elements of horror, madness and other obscure feelings in a gloomy ambience that is really disturbing. All the songs are sung in German and all the texts in the booklet are in German as well. The drum machine doesn't sound like real drums but it was not supposed to do so. Although it doesn't sound too mechanic. It has a clear and powerful tone and was creatively well-programmed. In some parts of the songs there is only one guitar, but most of the time there are two guitars - while one is playing some simple power chords in the background, the other is playing excellent and very long solos. These solos sometimes sound improvised, but they always have an impressive harmony with the songs. The solos are dreamy and match perfectly the dense and heavy atmosphere of the album. The songs are long (the biggest one is 10 minute long) and at least half of them is extremely slow. In some parts of these slow songs, it seems that everything will suddenly stop in the next second. But there are other songs which are faster, mid-tempo like. The vocals are in a typical black metal style, but very agonizing and melancholic - those feelings of horror and madness I mentioned above can be perfectly felt in Zwerg's voice. As I said, this album is a little difficult to understand in the beginning. It's challenging because it's unusual, truly original. And it's impossible to compare Belmez with other bands because that. If you are venturesome enough, give this album a try because you won't regret.