De Totem

My favorite release thus far (though I haven't heard the Al Ghemist LP yet) from a truly fucking bizarre and sick band. For some reason not all the elite members of the underground black metal community are willing to take a group seriously that calls themselves "black metal farmers" and takes pictures standing alongside cows and pissing in cornfields, let alone incorporating a banjo into songs with such titles as "Udder of Death" and "Beard of Disease," but anyone who has ever given these guys a listen knows that they are completely serious and have exactly the right attitude for keeping the spirit alive. As far as atmosphere is concerned, alongside Nargaroth, Gontyna Kry and Godless North, this is among the best that black metal can offer and reminds me heavily of Burzum's Filosofem or Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.

The music itself is very primitive and raw, somewhat like Darkthrone's A Blaze... but with abominably foul screaming vocals and an overly chaotic emanation of sound which makes me think my speakers are getting raped. Occasionally there are ambient break-offs or (as mentioned before) even banjo solos, a strange instrument indeed but somehow perfect for the environment portrayed here. Sloshing, perverse intros and outros, a beautiful logical progression as a whole, and an original yet genuine concept make this Flemish outing monstrous. Lyrics are sung in both Dutch and English.

A very solid recording, harsh and brutal and perverted, and every track is a highlight. "BOERSK BLEK METLE!"

2001 hando