Bethlehem
Dictius Te Necare
[Red Stream]


I came across this only days after I'd first heard Bethlehem's first CD ("Dark Metal"). Having thought the first one was a great slab melancholic black/doom (oops, dark) metal, I thought I'd give this one a listen.

THE VOCALS!...The vocals...the vocals...I just don't know where to start.. When the first strains of "Schatten Aus Der Alexander Welt" close in, you immediately stop what you're doing, and walk closer to the CD player. The vocalist (Bartsch?), is absolutely phenomenal. I haven't been this awestruck by a "singer" since...wow...King Diamond?

That's not a comparison, but a guide, to how different this guy is. No operatic wailings, but painfully schizophrenic snarls and screams. Its not blind screaming either, he actually manages to keep in emotive sync with the music, which at times really takes a back seat. I can't even begin to imagine what this guy LOOKS like when he's singing.

The music itself is also top notch, sprawling from towering doom to sinister black metal, with ease untold. "Die Anarchishe Befreiung Der Augenzeugenreligion" is total doom epic, starting of with some early Cathedral style riffage, sprinkled with some Moonspell-like interludes, and then back to a pace-y black metal style, crossing into Celtic Frost territory a few times. Phew!

On to probably my favourite song on the CD, "Verheikung - Du Krone Des Todeskultes". This song has an almost rock tempo to it. When the guitars and the bass drop out, it sounds like this song was recorded in a big empty water tank or something, the echo sounds killer. Also check out the last song on the CD "Dorn Meiner Allmacht", with its sloth-like bass and crunching guitar sound. Half way thru this song, the band sound like they've taken a couple of valium (well Bartsch anyway), and it mellows on out from there.

Unfortunately (for all us mono-linguals) all songs/lyrics are in German, although the fact that "This Album Is Dedicated To All Suicide Victims", dare I say it, is a fair indicator to what the lyrics are about. This album is proving itself quite addictive...overall, I can sum this album up in the only two words I can remember from high school German classes... Sehr sehr sehr sehr sehr GUUUUUHHHTTTTT....

Rating : 9.5/10 (probably a 10/10 at the end of this week)


1998 brett