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Belmez - Berserker - 65%

vorfeed, May 11th, 2004

Band: Belmez
Album: Berzerker
Label: Napalm Records
Release Year: 1995

Belmez is a German one man band playing "Dark Metal". Since those are the only two words in the booklet not in German, I really can't say much more about it for certain. I can, however, say that this is a fine example of doomy black metal with pained, screamed vocals. It reminds me very much of Bethlehem (to be expected, since both bands call themselves "dark metal".) Belmez is nowhere near the excellence that is Bethlehem, but this is a solid release nonetheless.

The compositions are very good- these are all interesting songs, and Belmez manages to create some sick, churning atmosphere on the slower tracks. The faster tracks are good, too, but suffer from the curse of the drum machine.

In fact, the only real drawback to Belmez is the drum machine- at least to me, these rarely ever work well for metal. They're just too "perfect" sounding, although in this case that actually adds somewhat to the cold, detached nature of the music, while subtracting from its immediate impact. As such, the drum machine works well during the slower, doomier Belmez songs, and really hurts during the "fast blasting" sections.

If you like blackened doom metal in general, or Bethlehem in particular, you might want to pick this up. This isn't an essential release by any means, but it's quite good, will probably grow on you, and can be had for an insanely low price if you can find it.

Standout Tracks: "Villa Hildebrandt" was my favorite- the intro is great, and the echoing guitar here is very well done.

Review by Vorfeed: