Beherit-Complete Worxxx

Complete Worxxx
[Spinefarm Records]

      Back in 1992 a band surfaced that was quite unlike anything the music scene had ever experienced. With its utter raw playing and production and its screeching vocals, only few at that time really appreciated this band. Nonetheless, The Oath of Black Blood went down in history as one of the darkest releases the scene had seen in some time. 1993 saw the release of the monumental Drawing Down the Moon, years ahead of the previous release, in atmosphere, production and reception in the underground. Their unique vocals and sound had finally earned Beherit a rather cult following amongst a small faction of international listeners. The following two releases would see a drastic change in Beherit's sound. Now a more dark industrial outfit, yet still carrying an air of mystery and evil in their sound. 1999 sees the release of The Complete Worxxx-Beast of Beherit. A compilation of songs through the years, plus rarities and live recordings from '90-'92. Beherit is a band that has never really gained the respect of the metal community, while many other bands from the time of their beginning have soared in popularity to the point of mainstream success. But this is Beherit's choice more than anything, they have never made their music accessible in the least to the average listener, and we can applaud them for that. They are also a band that has never been imitated or cloned, due mainly to their utterly unique and rather bizarre style. So then, reviewing an outfit like Beherit is a rather difficult thing. If we were to rate it by uniqueness, it is outstanding. There has never, and we'd estimate will never, be another band sharing their sound and style.

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Theatres des Vampires

Theatres des Vampires-The Vampire Chronicles

The Vampire Chronicles
[Alkaid Records]

      After hearing the advance promo of The Vampire Chronicles we were very impressed. This is wholly unlike much of the 'vampire' inspired bands flooding the scene recently. The first thing you will notice about this CD is the bands playing/songwriting ability, which is extremely good. The music is full of rich atmospheres and is very memorable, no song sounding alike. This CD is also years ahead of their last release, "Vampyrìsme, nècrophilie, nècrosadisme, nècrophagie," since then all new musicians have been added to the line-up to join Lord Vampyr, who did the previous release. This CD is highly refreshing, anyone growing bored with the average band should definately give this CD a try. A keyboard track will also be appearing on our video soundtrack done by their keyboardist, whom is excellent in this field. Do not overlook this band, it is truly one of the best releases of 1999.

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Sadogoat-Et Arcadia Ego

Et Arcadia Ego
[self-financed demo]

      Putting aside the over-abundance of bands using goat in their name, this one takes it even further with their fixation with this animal. Four of the eight songs (including the intro and outro) on this demo have references to a goat in the title! I must admit, I wasn't expecting much from this, but after giving this a listen, it actually has some very intense moments. It's raw, primitive, noisy and harsh. While it's not very original, it captures a fierce spirit no longer heard in a lot of BM bands these days. The first track "Female Goat Perversion" is by far the best track. This is limited to 50 copies, of which this one is 31. Despite the criticism, fans of raw, primitive BM should definitely give this a listen, it is worth it! They obviously did not make this for the masses, and only few will enjoy their obscure sound. Isn't that how black metal was intended in the first place? In the days of digital studios and corporate labels it's easy for most to forget. But some remember...

Lord Belial

Lord Belial-Unholy Crusade

Unholy Crusade
[Metal Blade Records]

      Here is another entry into the black metal genre of pure speed, while this is pretty good, its been done before. It's fairly intense (with sudden bursts of speed), melodic and well-written/composed. Session musicians add to the music with female vocals, flute and cello. The CD begins fairly interesting, and has its moments but... I think ultimately this CD proves little more than that while they are very skilled musicians, they are still unable to add any real feeling or memorable elements to the music.


Demoncy-Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost

Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost
[So it is Done Productions]

      Since I first heard their demos some time ago I've been very interested in this band. Never one to follow trends, the spirit of black metal is well captured here. The sound itself in this release seems kind of washed out though. Despite this, it's very cold, dark and grim sounding. Demoncy has always retained a sort of cult following in the USA, it's well-deserved, and I think this is due to their uniqueness on these shores. Personally, they've always been one of my favorite US BM bands because of their style and devotion. This release is put out by So it is Done Productions, of the Nederlands, containing 13 tracks. You can expect nothing but top-rate belief and music from this excellent band...


Berserkr-Crush the Weak

Crush the Weak
[Resistance Records]

      The 'glory days' of death metal have been over for some time, especially since the rise in popularity of BM and other off-shoots of the genre. However, this release, while not entirely too 'new,' captures that old brutality from those days better than I've heard in a long time. Lyric/concept-wise, this is very 'politically incorrect' and would be fairly offensive and racist to some, but obviously they could care-less about who they offend or if they are hurting anyone's feelings after all! The bass/guitars/vocals are quite catchy and well written/played... the lyrics, sung in a mid-low growl are fairly understandable in their hate-filled topics. Berserkr are indeed as 'extreme' as their label, Resistance Records. I obtained this through Moribund Records, but it also can be obtained from their label. Recommended for any fan of good death metal!

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