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Tragedy - 2%

GraveMiasma, September 7th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Warheart Records

I don't know that what happens in the 21st century, bands who have been here for such a long time record such horrible albums. Euronymous must be spinning in his grave. Let's start from the beginning. Besatt, who have been in it for more that 20 years, has always been known for cheesy image and unfortunate photos, but what happens in this band now is not even funny anymore.

I've just bought their recent album, "Nine Sins" and immediately felt bad about owning that record just because of its cover. The artwork looks like it was made by a 12-year-old and depicts a weird landscape, which lacks only a polar bear and a penguin jumping out of the sea. It's probably one of the worst heavy metal covers, totally unfit for a band who pose in nail wristbands. The booklet consists of the same artwork copied a dozen times, with a small exception of a picture of a mermaid emerging from the sea (like, what the hell?), some band photos and lyrics. To sum up, the booklet makes a sad impression.

Let's look at the ideological message of this record. There basically is none. The author is supposed to be pondering seven deadly sins, but instead of doing so, he writes some random slogans like "no for the church", "i hate psalms" and similar cliches. There's even a song bearing the same title as on a previous album and some texts borrowed from "Tempus Apocalyptis" as well, like "the gates of hell are open" or "satan is my soul" - very deep, indeed. I conclude that the author must be very proud of his work to commit self-plagiarism so eagerly.

We're now left with the music, which is most important here, so to achieve some sort of equilibrium, it should at least be good. Unfortunately, it's not. The music goes well with the cover art (probably the only coherence that's to be found here) and I hardly forced myself to finish listening. It was an ordeal. First of all, the vocals are indistinguishable with most black metal parodies available on the inter webs. The singer is a total fail, I guess a homeless guy picked up from a street would do a better job here. Check out "Hatred" on Youtube and read the comments below, it's really worth it. I kind of feel sorry for the band leader, my dogs howling is more black metal. West highland white fucking terrier is more black metal.

The drums desperately lack power and skill. Just listen to "Hatered", "Homicide" or "Blasphemy" - there just the same, when it comes to drumming. Seems like they recorded one sample and used it over and over again at different tempo. The drums are also very plastic - sounding, the foot sounds just like computer – generated by Ezdrummer or such. I wonder if the drummer simply couldn't play and used automatic drums instead. You can clearly here on that the drums were copied and pasted.

The guitar sound is just bland, none of the riffs stick in your memory. There are tons of stuff plainly ripped from bands like Vesania, Hate and Vader with a trace of gothic cheese. It seems like they tried to sound more melodic and it just turned out kitschy. To make things worse, there's a solo appearing from time to time, out of the blue and completely unfit for black metal. You can't get over an impression that these guys don't know what they're doing, don't want to do it are completely incompetent for doing it.

When it comes to production, the sound is too clear and computer – like, I would never have guessed that the album was recorded in hertz studio if I hadn't read news concerning the record release.

Overall impression is terrible, Besatt, who can boast with 24-year-old experience, now sound like an internet parody band. This particular album hardly sounds like any kind of black metal, in fact, it's more like melodic death or even gothic metal. It's very, very weak. It even took second place in Chaos Vault the most fucked up record of 2014. Yuck! The times of "Baphomet" and "Ave Master Lucifer" are gone.......

Advantages - Huh?

Disadvantages
- Terrible vocals, awful, unprofessional cover, stupid lyrics, lame riffs, countless rip-offs, terrible solos, plastic-sounding drums and utter no respect for a listener.

A polish maelstrom of blasphemous rituals - 90%

Panzerphallus, December 10th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Mutilation Productions

While many bands, after decades of activity, become worse over time, confusing "evolution" with decay, Besatt remains true to its roots (now with what is probably their best and most solid line-up), standing like a prodigious example of what is to develop a real evolution of a band, showing that progress is possible without becoming "avant garde", or too melodic, symphonic, plastic, "core" or easily approachable for teenagers.

This album shows the distinctive Besatt sound, pure aggressive infernal black metal, but now with a little more melodic vein, more rhythmic variations and creative uses of chords, which due to the mastery with the musicians, had incorporated these elements to the compositions, and made the sound more solid and rich than in their previous records. I must highlight the production, which is excellent, and didn't let the record sound too crystalline, about to make the music lose its atmosphere, which is essential to the genre, and the drums tune, remarkable and violent (typically Polish, I must say).

With this record, the Besatt once more consolidates itself as a pillar of the 90's second wave of black metal, not surrendering to the mainstream, standing as a cult sect, true to the genres quintessence, showing how to make black metal the way it should be.

Now For Something Completely Besatt - 86%

TheStormIRide, November 7th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Mutilation Productions

Formed in 1991, Besatt is one of Poland’s longest running black metal bands. Despite only one original member remaining, vocalist/bassist Beldaroh, the band’s sound has not changed much throughout the last two decades. Interestingly enough, Beldaroh started a side project with the other original members of Besatt called Det Gamle Besatt, but let’s not get too far off topic. Nine Sins was released in the summer of 2014 and is Besatt’s ninth full length album. Seemingly obsessed with the number nine at this point in their career, Nine Sins features nine tracks of the top notch black metal that Besatt is known for.

According to the band, the number nine embodies more than just the physical number of full lengths they’ve produced, stating “As nine demons of chaos, as nine circles of evil, as nine deadly sins”. Besatt’s sound has historically been of the heavy handed and blasting variety, and Nine Sins is certainly no different. That being said, these guys really seem to have a knack for injecting unexpected melodies without taking anything away from the menacing and vitriolic nature of their sound, as displayed by the minor key passages on “Hatred” or the classically inspired soloing during “Idolatry”. Perhaps it’s because Besatt has been playing the same style for over twenty years, but the band seems to have struck quite the balance between pummeling hatred and haunting melodies. Where many bands tend to delve into experimental ventures, Besatt has stayed the course, continuing their embodiment of no frills Polish black metal.

Don’t mistake the band’s penchant for minor keys for a lack of heaviness, as tracks like “Homicide” and “Vengeance” show Besatt at their most caustic, with a mix of militant riffs and trem picking alongside blasting, hyper-speed drumming. Nine Sins is a heavy handed album, yet the band keeps things interesting by consistently changing paces between blistering and mid-paced. Besatt’s sound calls to mind the finest of the Scandinavian scene but, with that Polish flair, their sound remains their own. This could probably be attributed to Beldaroh’s vocals, which are a strange and contorted, snarl that comes out between a shout and a growl, really not sounding like anyone else.

Nine Sins carries Besatt’s tradition of blistering and fiery black metal, balancing with a dose of minor key melody in the right places. Fans of Marduk and Thunderbolt and the like will find more than enough to dig into. Obsessed with nines or not, Nine Sins delivers the goods and proves that Besatt is firmly planted among black metal’s elite. Being one of Poland’s longest running black metal bands (at least that still play black metal), Besatt certainly has had time to hone their sound. Nine Sins shows Besatt at their best; diverse, rich and blistering enough to melt the balls off a brass monkey.

Written for The Metal Observer.