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Beherit - Drawing Down the Moon
Review: The first of black metal bands to abstract the primal to such a degree of symbolism in simple information motion that it attacks the part of the mind that sleeps during the day and awakens at night, the Jungian nightmare of Beherit formulated a more balanced and deliberate version of the raw and fiery explosion of the South American scene 1986-1988 (Sarcofago, Pentagram, Sepultura) and in doing so created the ultimate sensual assault of sinister phrases of ultra-minimalized seductively arranged in patterns of breakdown and decay. Unbalanced power chords deadhand strummed in chant rhythm or playing in a tremolo fuzz that envelopes the hearer, hypnotic rhythm section work and obscure mythology are interspersed in texture and format.
Ultimately not as much an attempt to make music as to make ambient music, so that an atmosphere is maintained, but with the metal touch of manipulating the atmosphere for vast and reductively negative change, the sawing symphonies of fragmentary melody and motion that infest these tracks are brilliantly presented so as to, in the almighty Wagnerian tradition, present an aesthetic motion which decenters and refocuses the individual through a differentiation of context into one of its component parts, the rushing darkness. Curling whispers of detonated noise gurgle tearing wind to chant lyrics in encouragement or counterpoint to direct and linear textural progression.
Much is encoded in these symphonies of darkness, which incorporate directly elements of atmospheric music such as keyboard undulation over ritual drone beats and dynamic intensity flares for transition, as well as a conception of black metal that would influence many others within the European black metal underground: the steady motion of Bathory made fluid and flexible in its ambiguity, like Sarcofago on some kind of At the Gates recombinant melody avantriff trip. For the truly alienated headspace in early modern black metal, Beherit is worth immersion.