Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Beherit - "Engram"
Best come back album in black metal ever. Given that statement, this album is only "pretty good." I'm not a fan of come backs...at all. I know the circumstances surrounding every one of them differ greatly, but really, if you bury a band, keep it there, here is why.
Its just not a viable thing now that umpteen bands have taken the path Beherit paved so much further than they ever did...and certainly not 16 years after the release of their last metal album "Drawing Down the Moon." SIXTEEN YEARS!!! That albums kid can legally drive now. Engram is great for what it is, its definitely Beherit, but the conundrum with this sort of thing is you cannot evolve when you come up with this sort of sound, and you also cannot expect it to always sound new, relevant and innovative. Innovation is always specifically dated; and in music, especially strange demonic devil music, when something has lost its potency, its as flaccid as Stephen Hawking's hoo-hoo. I cant think of any bands "come back" album that rules. Given this heap of an opinion, I respect someone who can put all this aside and judge the album on its own accord.
Every second of this album is most definitely undeniably Beherit. More along the lines of The Oath of Black Blood and further removed from the more atmospheric leanings of Drawing Down the Moon. Its got a lot of vicious ferocity which is played in the trademark nihilistic and vitriolic manner that only Beherit can manifest. Holocausto's unforgettable barking vocals, the riffs that know no melody and barbaric caveman drums are all here. At times the recording is a bit too showy and full sounding. Beherit definitely have their fair share of recordings that sound like the engineer was strangled to death with razor wire, and most of the time that worked to their advantage. Here the guitar is vast, meaty and very synthetic sounding. Its done well enough to make this a very devastating record but I still have my qualms about how "normal" everything sounds on this. Excluding vocals, sometimes I feel like moments of the record could be mistaken for a new era Candlemass or Reverend Bizarre part.
All in all I'm really surprised this album is good but again I just feel like its relevance is significantly diminished. The barbaric black metal convoy left Beherit back in the woods 16 years ago but hasn't forgotten how great this band truly once was.