May 23, 2021

Beherit - Drawing Down The Moon (1993)

Country: Finland
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Label Number: SPI 14 CD

© 1993 Spinefarm Records
Terrorizer magazine released a "Secret History" issue I think twice. They have a Black Metal and a Death Metal copy that I know of. I find Terrorizer to be a rather reputable magazine which sometimes highlights metal bands outside of the norm, away from the most popular acts. For example, their "Secret History of Black Metal" is a pretty well done magazine. It has some good, varied articles, including a pretty solid Top 40 list.

This list is mostly a well agreed upon article, even though it is missing some and has a few which might not make several reviewers cuts here. For example, it is missing Windir , Kvist , and any top newer ambient releases or recent USBM opuses.
Number 16 on that list is Drawing Down the Moon by Finnish Black Metal band Beherit .

Beherit originally formed as a 3 piece in 1989, releasing this album, breaking up, and finally reforming in 2008. Beherit are one of the early pioneers of the Finnish Black Metal scene releasing this, their best release, which I'm sure to be flamed for.

I've never asked anyone for their opinion on Drawing Down the Moon but if a major underground Metal magazine is ranking it top 20 in the genre, then I'm bound to get some complaints.

So without further ado, let's list the positives and negatives that should be considered when developing your own opinion of Drawing Down the Moon .

This album is for the most part slow enough to be at a Doom Metal pace. It has an excellent guitar sound to go along with a nicely mixed rhythm section. However, the vocals, with strange space like effects added, sound a bit too loud sometimes. Salomon's Gate has some blasts beats, as does Nocturnal Evil but mostly all of the album is extremely slow. Beherit go for atmosphere here. Simple chords are strung together into mind altering tapestries as the droning drums form the most stripped down beats with a complete lack of intricacy. However, these beats do the riffs justice because if one instrument outshines the other, then the raw vileness of the album would be disrupted.

This album breathes evil. Everything about this album from the strings, to the drums, to the vocals are dark, mysterious, and foreboding. At first this album drove me off because of the vocals. There is A LOT of reverb here. The vocals are vicious, dark, and atmospheric. They sound almost like a demon or an alien speaking in a foreign, unpronounceable tongue. These vocals do not sound human at all. While originally a turnoff, the vocals soon grew on me, to the point where I find them essential to the sound Beherit have established here.

There is a lack of groove on Drawing Down the Moon . And if you don't listen to this album strictly for the the ambiance you're going to be at a loss with this album.

This is probably the most simplistic, stripped down, raw, and evil sounding Black Metal album I have heard in a long time. It's not a good album because of dazzling musicianship, riveting percussion, or any sort of scintillating songwriting. It is known for its pure, evil, lucid imagery.

I may be ripped by the readers for not placing this album on the pantheon of Black Metal, but I have to acknowledge that in this case, the canvas painted here by Beherit surely was enjoyable, but it did not strike me as phenomenal. The space like vocal effects and the trippy sound effects coupled with the incredibly slow pace make if fun to listen to after a few hits of weed. However, not being one who abuses anything besides the occasional bourbon and coke or a hit of pot, I could never subject anyone to Drawing Down the Moon under the influence of anything more drastic as it could have surreal results on the human mind. Seeing this album on Terrorizer's list peaked my interest and I enjoyed what I heard on Drawing Down the Moon but I would not go out of my way to by The Oath of Black Blood or Engram Solid, but not perfect, Beherit do a nice job here, paving the way for atmospheric Black Metal in the future.

tags: beherit, drawing the moon, 1993, flac,


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