Beherit renews black metal with “Celebrate the Dead”

After a new genre establishes itself, bands try to stand out by either mixing other genres into their music or to expand upon the original idea, increasing its complexity and depth.

Beherit launches itself into this conflict first with the triumphant Engram, which connected the generations of black metal in a concept album that paid tribute to the past while evolving it into a new form, and now with the fertile landscape of ideas Celebrate the Dead.

This vinyl release contains two songs, a version of “Demon Advance” which is mostly faithful to the version on Engram. Some areas have less distortion, and the overall sound is a bit more raw and offhand, which gives this track a slightly different atmosphere.

“Celebrate the Dead” is another story. This lengthy (16:18) track shows Beherit experimenting with a fusion between ambient music, electro-acoustic, black metal and classical forms. Like most artists of statute, the composers behind Beherit know how to separate aesthetics (surface) from composition (structure and melody). As a result, while this track is a blueprint for an ambient or dubstep song played as if it were a metal one, it reaches for the greater objective of finding a mutual language among these music types.

While popular music (pop, rock, rap, blues, jazz, disco) songs vary wildly on the surface they rely on very similar underlying structures. These structures are based on cycles, or the back-and-forth between a verse and a chorus with a few detours to keep it interesting. The purpose of music in these genres is to equalize song structure so that surface traits, like using a flute or recording underwater, stand out and become interesting.

In narrative music (metal, classical, some ambient, electronica and electro-acoustic acts) the surfaces tend to be similar across songs and albums, but underlying song structure changes to fit the topic of each song. Riffs expand upon the context of previous riffs and force re-interpretation of both, expanding the storyline just as how each new clue in a mystery changes the direction of the book.

These are more like poems than cyclic sonic wallpaper or droning consistency; in fact what makes them great is that they’re inconsistent and based on change, not maintenance of a moment. This fits with the purpose of these genres, which is to show a change in character through the course of a journey or experience, so that the starting point is different from the end, and the people involved have a new strength or vision. They emphasize the difference between the start of a journey and its end, but also the many different types of journeys.

“Celebrate the Dead” shows Beherit deciding how to integrate these two types. It wants the ritual power of black metal and its own vision of occult dubstep or electro-acoustic ceremonial music, but with the ambient version comes a dose of the cyclic and layered that excludes the narrative. Beherit tries to keep the sense of the unique journey which is inherent to black metal, and enwrap it in the layered ambient approach, and as a result produces music that is every bit as much ritual as early black metal.

The song migrates through three major movements, in which pairs of riffs transfer potential energy between each other as layers of drums, vocals, samples and keyboards are applied to build an intense tapestry of hanging sound, complete with sonic breaks and metal-style interludes. The result is a deepening experience but in its non-linearity it loses the epic power of metal’s ability to tell a tale, which is what Beherit changed with their music for the Engram LP. On that album, the narrative wins out and the layering circular style is brought in slowly.

This is rough listening. In part because this is a demo of the laptop-and-guitar type, which means that it’s not so much an organic sound as a pastiche of recorded and generated sounds. However, what will throw most people off are the vocals which are fragile and yet shamanistic, in what music reviewers call “accessible” but is more likely an experiment in the deliberately immature, unformed and intellectually curious sound that diverse musicians such as Roky Erickson and Absurd have made popular. These are the anti-slick, and while hipster pop has ruined “accessible,” their child-like honesty gives them a weight that no polished vocal could achieve.

What is most impressive about this release is that it is a pathway to future development for metal. The best of the genre, like the first Enslaved album or the longer Burzum works, tended toward a type of ambient music that used guitars but did not fall into the loop-pattern of popular music, instead preferring the epic storytelling of metal and classical. Black metal backed down from the challenge offered by albums like Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and instead became a plaything, a hybrid of either indie-rock (“post-black-metal”) or a darker form of punk (“black crust”,”war metal”).

Beherit turned black metal back toward a sensible path with Engram, which cited forms and styles from the past (some in tribute to Venom and Bathory, from the sound of them) but worked those into a concept album that ended in the meditative “Demon Advance.” To include the ambitious “Celebrate the Dead” in the same album might have made it lopsided, but in this sample track we see a possibility of metal guitars and dynamic acoustics existing in a narrative style.

This release will not make it past the enthusiasts and diehards who are curious about what the most fertile minds in black metal are thinking for the future. This is a shame, as all metal musicians should study this work to find a pathway out of the current rock-style slump that grips metal, and also to find a new inspiration for connection to the ancient ways of both metal and music from time immemorial.

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Agruss – Morok

Metal has become an aggregate of everything that went before it, and everything that threatens to destroy it.

Agruss’ new release Morok shows us the worst of both this amalgamation and the influences it has received from mainstream nu-metal, which itself is like a rap/hard rock fusion with no relation to metal.

Mixing equal parts indie rock, progressive-ish rock, black metal and post-hardcore, this CD is great if you just read the ingredients. If you analyze how they’re put together, you see that this is not only unrewarding to a metalhead, but artistically worthless. It has no direction. It’s not composed like metal, where radically different riffs fit together to make a dynamic story, but like rock, where radically different riffs provide distraction from the emptiness. The entire idea of even mixing all these influences and coming up with something good is a complete write-off. That’s like taking all the ingredients in your refrigerator and combining them, claiming you’ve made “super-food.”

The nu-metal influence comes from the necessary use of binary dynamics when making such carnival music. These riffs are so diverse with no relation to each other except key that the only thing that can be done is to sort them into two categories, “hard” and “soft,” and play those off each other. The result is a lot of wandering riff, then screaming and blasting, and then more proggy stuff to lighten the mood. It’s more of a mix tape than a CD.

It’s amazing how a lack of common sense can convert such potential into garbage. These guys are accomplished musicians and they have some good ideas. But like burying intelligent statements in a rant about eating feces, the indie-metal aggregate approach isn’t working for them or any alert listeners of this music.

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The Chasm “Procreation of the Inner Temple” re-released

VIC RECORDS has signed a license deal with the longest running and most respected Death Metal act from Mexico THE CHASM and LUXINFRAMUNDIS PRODUCTIONS for the European releases of the reissue of their legendary Procreation of the Inner Temple debut album from 1994.

The CD will also include their complete 1993 demo, rare pics and extensive liner notes from Olivier ‘Zoltar’ Badin. In addition, VIC RECORDS will release a new exclusive repressing on digipak of their very well received and most recent album Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, which was originally released on a limited edition by LUXINFRAMUNDIS PRODUCTIONS in 2009 and mainly available in North America and sold out for close to 2 years.

VIC RECORDS will also release the second album of Mexico’s most underrated occult killer act SHUB NIGGURATH! Their second full length album A Deadly Call from the Stars comes also as an exclusive limited edition digipak. Previously released on THE CHASM’s front man Daniel Corchado’s own label Lux Inframundis Productions in 2011, it was limited to 500 copies, and sold out in 5 months.

The cooperation between LUXINFRAMUNDIS PRODUCTIONS and VIC RECORDS will also lead to the release of the second solo album by THE CHASM’s vocalist / guitar player / composer Daniel Corchado: MAGNUM ITINER INETRIUS, this new album will be conformed of 12 compositions of epic 60+ minutes of atmospheric, experimental yet dark and melodic instrumental metal!

Finally some words from THE CHASM founder and front man Daniel Corchado (ex-CENOTAPH (Mex) and ex-INCANTATION):

“I’m proud to announce and confirm the license/cooperation deal we have signed with long time The Chasm believer Roel and his label Vic Records (responsible for releasing early classics by bands such as Hammerfall, Katatonia, Crystal Age, October Tide…) for the new limited pressings of Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, Procreation of the inner temple and Shub Niggurath’s A Deadly call from the Stars, this new venture was mostly planned and materialized with the European supporters in mind, based in the Netherlands, with the network and distribution VIC posses, this releases will available in a more practical and easy way for those believers looking to add this albums to their collections. In related news, the new Magnum Itiner Interius album will be released in Europe by Vic Records as well, Luxinframundis will be in charge of the American edition of this epic instrumental caravan.

Chicago, May 2012.”

For more information and ordering, contact VIC RECORDS.

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Mortem (Peru) / Perversion (US) tour

Peruvian ripping occult death metal Mortem is teaming up with US band Perversion (from bullet-riddled Detroit) for a short tour of the east coast. Prepare your altars!

  • August 3rd – Silver Spring, MD @ Caracol Bar – 609 Sligo Ave – Silver Spring, MD 20910
    w/ Perversion (Detroit, MI), Ashencult (Philadelphia, PA) & Inverted Trifixion (Gaithersburg, MD) – Just outside of DC!
  • August 4rd – Brooklyn, NY @ TBA w/ Perversion (more info coming up this week)
  • August 5th – Chicago, IL @ TBA w/ Perversion (more info coming up later this week)

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Deceased – Luck of the Corpse

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions has reissued the classic debut album from Deceased “Luck Of The Corpse” on CD format. This version includes restored artwork, remastered audio as well as rare bonus tracks. Below is the official description:

True Death Metal from the grave… raw, ugly and proper! Haunting corpses with shrieks of underrated sickness, Luck Of The Corpse is a prime example of just how Death Metal the 80’s could get. Despite it’s release in 1991 as the first band signed to Relapse Records, Deceased’s debut album reanimates tracks primarily written & demoed throughout ’85-’89 and easily stands ground with Possessed, Necrovore, early Death, and demo-era Morbid Angel. This is the album that forged Deceased as one of America’s pioneering, legendary underground bands… a classic debut that still holds up 20+ years later! Features restored artwork taken from the film Black Sabbath, remastered audio and includes the unreleased 1990 Raw Demo plus a never before heard version of Feasting On Skulls recorded in 1998. Up The Tombstones!!!!!!

For wholesale information please email wholesale@horrorpaingoredeath.tk

You can order your copy for only $10 including shipping from Horror Pain Gore Productions.

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Mortuary & Infernal Conjuration – Baja Tour 2012

Mortuary/Infernal Conjuration “Baja Tour 2012”

After 20 years of absence, Mortuary returns even more aggressive, irreverent and extreme than ever before. They will be playing songs from their latest record, Death Will Not Leave the Throne.

  • Friday, June 15, 2012: Mexicali
  • Saturday, June 16, 2012: Tijuana
  • Sunday, June 17, 2012: Ensenada

See the full flyer here.

Join them and be part of death metal history! Expect the worst!

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International Day of Slayer — June 6, 2012

If they can have a “National Day of Prayer,”
We can have a National Day of Slayer!

Culture is something you can inherit, or choose. We choose metal as our culture, and Slayer as our ambassador. No other band captures the spirit of metal with such intensity. Every year on June 6, we celebrate the International Day of Slayer to hail this spirit.

How to Celebrate

  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in your car.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in your home.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast at your place of employment.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in any public place you prefer.

DO NOT use headphones! The objective of this day is for everyone within earshot to understand that it is the National Day of Slayer. National holidays in America aren’t just about celebrating; they’re about forcing it upon non-participants.

Taking that participation to a problematic level

  • Stage a “Slay-out.” Don’t go to work. Listen to Slayer.
  • Have a huge block party that clogs up a street in your neighborhood. Blast Slayer albums all evening. Get police cruisers and helicopters on the scene. Finish with a full-scale riot.
  • Spray paint Slayer logos on churches, synagogues, or cemeteries.
  • Play Slayer covers with your own band (since 99% of your riffs are stolen from Slayer anyway).
  • Kill the neighbor’s dog and blame it on Slayer.

http://www.nationaldayofslayer.org/

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Terrorizer “Hordes of Zombies”

The first thing people say, almost like a spell to ward off mistaken appreciation, is that this band is not the same band who cranked out “Fear of Napalm” and “Corporation Pull-In.”

That’s true — and it’s a good thing.

While the old material is as classic as a castle on the Rhine, and will inspire grind-heads for many generations into the future, times have changed and grindcore is trying to adapt to a modern (post-1994) era of metal.

Most options for this are bad as they are limited by strict genre constructions. For example, one can try to be “tr00” kvlt d-beat, or even blurcore, if not falling into the randomness trap that produces carnival music like metalcore, in which no part resembles the others and no sense is made; you’re supposed to appreciate it like the sample platter at your local seafood place. But it’s not fulfilling.

The new Terrorizer album instead wisely takes after Napalm Death’s Fear, Emptiness and Despair, which acknowledges the maturation of the genre by streamlining it and thus giving it a bit more room to grow. It reduces the genre to a minimum but with clear boundaries so that experimentation, not of the surface kind that consists in adding jazz solos and a bassoon and playing the album live on a basketball court, but of the inner kind where melody and form are explored as an emulation of the sounds and emotion of life.

Intelligently, this Terrorizer aims to be a blast of energy that rivals any 5-hour stim supp or purple drank you can find. It’s pure pulsing percussion kinesis, driving forward like the pumping of a panicked heart transitioning to ‘kill’ mode during combat, but without the darkness or cruelty of intent of death metal or black metal. Instead it’s like punk crossed with techno, using the mixture of crust and death metal riffing that has always made grindcore easy to grasp but hard to appreciate in depth.

Within this framework, there’s a lot of variation, including a fair number of melodic hooks that provide emotional content. Anthony Rezhawk’s rasping voice is back in monotone mode, where he sounds impatient and dismissive, as is appropriate for an album about the zombiefication of the human species slowly destroying the planet (whether that’s metaphor or not awaits a detailed reading of the lyrics). Pete Sandoval provides excellent percussion, and under the guidance of these two seasoned songcrafters, the raw power of the new bassist & guitarist is shaped into compelling songs.

This will be one of the best of 2012. People are unwilling to admit this fact now because that requires bucking a social convention in that, (a) “it’s not the old Terrorizer” and (b) it’s rather “pop” in its own sense of not attempting depth, or jagged self-drama, but instead making songs to stand on their own as objects of revelation of the world. The old Terrorizer could not exist now because its members have moved on but also because the world has moved on, in circumstance and in music, and this new album rises to incorporate those changes and make of them an interesting and paranoid tale.

1. Intro
2. Hordes of Zombies

3. Ignorance and Apathy

4. Subterfuge

5. Evolving Era

6. Radiation Syndrome

7. Flesh to Dust

8. Generation Chaos

9. Broken Mirrors

10. Prospect of Oblivion

11. Malevolent Ghosts

12. Forward to Annihilation

13. State of Mind

14. A Dying Breed

15. Wretched (bonus track)

16. Hordes of Zombies (demo)

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New icon for the forum

You might ask yourself, “What the heck is that thing?”

According to its creators, it’s an Asp-burger, a neologism of asparagus and burger.

They didn’t understand when I began barking like a seal, rocking back and forth, stimming and solving complex math problems.

As regular users of our forum, or “Aspies,” know, Asperger’s Syndrome is a bullshit psychological catch-all term for mildly autistic people who are also smart.

Currently our psychological establishment, who have absolutely nothing to gain by removing diagnoses and instead prescribing 20 years of therapy at $150 an hour, are considering removing it as a category of mental illness.

In the meantime, it seems to me that society itself is spergin’ out. Would you like more Coca-Cola with that obsessive need for control, or perhaps more television in stead of bouncing your leg up and down, or indeed some sports events to shout random words at?

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