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Tuesday January 23rd 2018



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BEHERIT – Engram

BEHERIT- “Engram”. Nuclear Holocausto, 2009.

It’s been a decade since anything could be heard from Finnish black metal cult band, Beherit; what’s more, it’s been 15 years since they’ve released anything with the genre’s traditional drums-&-guitars instrumentation (for those unfamiliar with the band’s discography, the years ’94 to ’96 saw Beherit operate as an electronic-ambient project, continuing to put out excellent material before fading into obscurity). Now, after quite some time spent immersed in other electronica-related endeavors, frontman Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance has decided to once again wield the six-stringed axe and resurrect Beherit from its sepulchral slumber. But what exactly are the reasons for this sudden, renewed conviction in the art of black metal? A spoken-word statement taken from the first few seconds of the opening track “Axiom Heroine” would more than suffice: “Because…I just fucking hate this world.” Enough said!

The trademark Beherit “sound”–the bass-heavy tone, ritual percussion, and whispering growls that were perfected on the 1993 release “Drawing Down the Moon“–has been delightfully reproduced in “Engram,” though Holocausto has altered his guitar tone to be less sludgy and more resonant, and has also chosen to vocalize with a little more chest-power. These factors combine to charge forth in a roaring aesthetic that parallels those found on the band’s earliest and most savage demo tapes. But,┬áneedless to say, Holocausto has garnered 20 years of compositional experience since those days, and now showcases his mastery over sonic architecture even through a medium as “primitive” as bestial black metal.

To the immediate senses, the songs on “Engram” are all comprised of very simple riffs that do not undergo too much variation; yes, this is black metal played in its most orthodox form, and that’s what makes this album unappealing to those who lap up the jumbled bombast made popular by certain “Norsecore” celebrities who shall not be named here. The genius of Beherit has always resided in their ability to hew together the humblest of Blasphemy- and Sarc├│fago-inspired riffs to create a vivid narrative through scenes of occult conjurations. With “Engram,” this talent reemerges in the masterful manipulation of atmosphere, achieved via a gradual riff-metamorphosis that progresses song-after-song. It all culminates in the 15-minute-long finale “Demon Advance”: an epic doomscape that ejects the listener far into the cosmic void, drifting off until the very Earth becomes nothing more than a speck of blue dust.

“Engram” is without a doubt the most compelling “comeback” album of 2009; it is inspirational during a time when black metal is moribundly overpopulated with dullards who lack artistic vision. Thank you, Beherit, for clawing your way up from the grave to show the trendies how it’s really done.

(Buy on

Grade: A

“Cemetery… violence!”


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