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Beherit - Engram

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 11, 2009, 11:23:35 PM
This release made me think about comeback albums and new releases in general.

I get the feeling that people tend to treat both veteran as well as "new hope for metal" bands as symbols and completely ignore anything the musicians have to say. They expect to get the same kick from Engram as they did from DDtM, and therefore ignore that fact that repeating the same ideas over more than one album doesn't make anything more clear than it was. To put it outright: what worth can there be in a release which is good because it's a new version of something which was good earlier?

Beherit keeps its spirit, though the ideas expressed on Engram indeed incline towards that which was made clear on Hvis Lyset Tar Oss. We've got the same old minimal riffing alongside with droning synth passages. It's not more or less than DDtM. It's mostly a different approach to expressing antiquity and a yearning for forgotten wisdom (at least that's what I feel while listening both to DDtM and Engram).

So here's a word for those who can't get themselves to enjoy this album: stop analyzing. Don't keep track of purported Gorgoroth, Darkthrone and Burzum influences, stop wondering whether this release meets any "standards of quality", and try to understand the meaning behind this album in its entirety. I guess it sounds modern because most modern black metal bands wish they could achieve this sort of depth.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 12, 2009, 12:46:38 AM
I don't think that the skepticism is all a product of overanalysis or nostalgia for the good old days. I've been listening to this album all day long, specifically listening to it in the way I would if I didn't know it was Beherit. While there are elements at work here which glimmer suggestively, they seem mired in a mediocre, almost confused soup of riffage. In other words, I don't think the synthesis that this album is based on is seamless.

The moments on this album that stand out to me are those which actually do recall DDtM material, and I can only offer my word that I'm not cherrypicking for them or consciously waiting for DDtM to show itself. These strong elements really do remind me of older Beherit, with maybe a hint of Profanatica or something as well; droning, and harsh but somehow dynamic... genuinely demonic. It doesn't necessarily mesh well with the curiously Godflesh-esque quality that a lot of the rest of the album has.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 12, 2009, 07:12:16 AM
I found a connection with Engram almost instantly because of its spoken introduction. I see that statement as the reason to come back after 14 years and make an album like Engram. Having read Nuclear Holocausto's interview with Terrorizer, especially the snippet posted on this forum, this seems justified.

At some point in the past, writing music was limited to the few people who were brilliant enough to compose and express themselves through it. Once music became a commodity, it ceased to be a form of expression, because writing "music" became as simple as following the rules of what "sounds good" and what doesn't. Today the brilliant people who can express themselves through music are lost within masses of those who don't even know that music is a form of expression. Black metal died like this and perhaps as an act of contempt toward the current situation, Nuclear Holocausto decided to return with Engram and perhaps his introductory statement means just that.

In my view, the album is a complete success, because it is a structural masterpiece - perfectly clear and engaging in its progressions - with a natural beginning, middle and end. A lot has been said about the use of layering and rightfully so, because the progressions arise from layers that are both simultaneous and sequential - the latter meaning that one phrase comes over the previous. Without that, the album would be stuck and pointless.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 13, 2009, 07:59:42 AM
They expect to get the same kick from Engram as they did from DDtM, and therefore ignore that fact that repeating the same ideas over more than one album doesn't make anything more clear than it was.

It's the challenge for artists: how to keep evolving without changing the basic outlook they've discovered.

For example, no one likes a style flipper... but everyone likes someone who finds an idea and chases it down through its various forms.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 13, 2009, 05:56:06 PM
I thought the spoken introduction was unnecessary and lame.  It just kind of threw me off - I almost laughed.  I don't know...I guess it's not a big deal.  Anybody have the lyrics?

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 13, 2009, 08:58:11 PM
I thought the spoken introduction was unnecessary and lame.  It just kind of threw me off - I almost laughed.  I don't know...I guess it's not a big deal.  Anybody have the lyrics?

Actually, I agree with you about the introduction. It's not of decisive importance, but it does start the album on something of a trite note.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 13, 2009, 09:07:37 PM
I thought the spoken introduction was unnecessary and lame.  It just kind of threw me off - I almost laughed.  I don't know...I guess it's not a big deal.  Anybody have the lyrics?

Actually, I agree with you about the introduction. It's not of decisive importance, but it does start the album on something of a trite note.

Haha, admittedly, my aesthetic qualms might have had their origin there.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 12:37:07 AM
I thought the spoken introduction was unnecessary and lame.  It just kind of threw me off - I almost laughed.  I don't know...I guess it's not a big deal.  Anybody have the lyrics?

I know what you mean. It's the kind of phrase people throw out there just because it's a cool black metal thing to say... and that makes it lame. But, I think he didn't use it in a trivial way like that; I think it meant something, especially since it starts with "because..." If he had said "I just fucking hate this world," it would have been a throw-away phrase - unnecessary and lame as you say. But, the "because" implies that something led him to say it and the questions are: what was it and how is he going to respond? These questions give purpose to the music that follows and that makes it an excellent introduction imo.
 

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 01:06:01 AM
Quote
But, the "because" implies that something led him to say it and the questions are: what was it and how is he going to respond? These questions give purpose to the music that follows and that makes it an excellent introduction imo.
I took it to mean that the album was what led him to say it - i.e. that he was explaining the motivation for the album. Regardless, I agree that this wasn't just some throwaway statement made to pander to the TR00 KVLT kiddies. Beherit's always been very conscious of everything they put into their albums, and the statement parallels others he's been giving in his recent interviews.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 01:52:31 AM
Quote
But, the "because" implies that something led him to say it and the questions are: what was it and how is he going to respond? These questions give purpose to the music that follows and that makes it an excellent introduction imo.
I took it to mean that the album was what led him to say it - i.e. that he was explaining the motivation for the album. Regardless, I agree that this wasn't just some throwaway statement made to pander to the TR00 KVLT kiddies. Beherit's always been very conscious of everything they put into their albums, and the statement parallels others he's been giving in his recent interviews.

Right, it gives a reason why the album exists. But the reason isn't simply that he hates the world (the statement itself), it's really the aspect of the world that caused his hatred. If what caused his hatred is a lack of good black metal, then the right response is to make Engram. And you can extrapolate: if something about the world pissed you off, don't stand around and mope - do something about it.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 04:02:10 AM
I have'nt listened to a cd this much in a long time....really glad that it is fucking heavy, and is not bullshit.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 04:25:35 AM
Engram displays a wonderful love of battle.  A war waged against a decaying world after years of waiting and in its place empires form and vie for power.  It carries not only the struggle but the joy of it as well.  Something of a pagan sword blow charged with hellfire to the throat of stagnant black metal.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 05:16:36 AM
...  Something of a pagan sword blow charged with hellfire to the throat of stagnant black metal.
...good one.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 14, 2009, 10:51:14 PM
After reading that interview with ANUS, I had hoped for more elaborate lyrics. The pseudo-religious chanting is a turn-off.

Re: Beherit - Engram
April 16, 2009, 04:43:30 PM
I thought the spoken introduction was unnecessary and lame.  It just kind of threw me off - I almost laughed.  I don't know...I guess it's not a big deal.  Anybody have the lyrics?

Is that not from one of Pekka-Eric Auvinen's video manifestos? It takes on a more visceral context with that in mind.