I am really glad this recording is not the final form these songs took, but I am equally glad to be able to hear them in this form. Most people will compare this to The Oath of Black Blood, but it reminds me more of the later EPs, although it’s in the style of The Oath of Black Blood.
On those later EPs Beherit experimented with the sonic form of its material, not changing the song structures as much as the pacing and the use of guitar noise, drone and other techniques. What emerged on the Osmose release of The Oath of Black Blood (a compilation of demos assembled by the label into an album) was more monolithic and primitive, in the raw style of Blasphemy which was inherited almost certainly from a cross between early Bathory and early Napalm Death.
But some time later what came forth on Drawing Down the Moon removed the chaos in favor of a clear, simple, direct and ominously infectious statement of power; it matured, for lack of a better word, and cut out the ambiguity to make a purposeful and morbid statement of dark power.
At the Devil’s Studio attempts to take the early monolithic style and tweak it sonically to gain effect, and it does so by making a dark immersive world of hanging sheets of resonant sound, but it loses the sinister abstraction and aloofness of the second album.
However, it gives these songs a new dimension, and makes it like hearing them for the first or second time, which alone will induce me to buy this thing and keep it close at hand.
This looks to be an interesting release. The story is that after 20 years, a tape is found of Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance and Sodomatic Slaughter going for broke on tracks from the first two albums… and it’s (as always) rawer, less controlled, more chaotic, and more evil. It seems to me that it’s a more controlled version of The Oath of Black Blood, while the band were still trying to be more dramatic like Venom/Sarcofago and before they discovered the detached, organic, withdrawn evil of the second album.
But it’s best you see for yourselves:
The Oath of Black Blood
Six Days with Sadistic Slayer
Order from Hell’s Headbangers here — to be released in June 2011.