May 23, 2021

Beherit - Engram (2009)

Country: Finland
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Label Number: FONINT9159
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile

© 2009 Fontana International
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett
You can't keep a good black metal band down, it seems -- after disappearing into the ether (or at least a slew of various dark ambient and other individual projects), Beherit returned with a vengeance in 2008, delivering a full new album the following year. With both Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance and Sodomatic Slaughter on board along with two new players, the band's work is a bit caught between extremes -- what was once a shockingly strange new approach is now worshiped and emulated by thousands of other bands, leaving one of the original inspired-by-Bathory acts to be chasing down its own legacy. That said, the stiff, moody start to Engram makes for one of the more attractive beginnings to a metal album in 2009 or any year -- the stern, trebly roil of "Axiom Heroine" sounds almost momentous, as ritualistic as one could want. It makes the more conventional black metal of the rest of the song a touch labored as a result, but it shows Beherit still have a sense of style. The album ultimately can't fully escape from a now well-worn path, but it's the combination of unsettling precision -- almost more tech than black at points, as "All in Satan" shows -- and nervous drama that makes Engram enjoyable. "Pagan Moon" breaks the cycle by being a near hard rock swaggerer of a song, admittedly with the expected vocal approach but using the harsh scrape of feedback to good effect against the beats. Meanwhile, the concluding "Demon Advance" brings back the compressed flange sound of the album's start over a 15-minute exploration of tropes.

tags: beherit, engram, 2009, flac,


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