This EP is a two-song vinyl 12-inch (though to be accurate, this actually sounds like four songs but they aren’t separated and there are only two song titles) that is released in 1,000 copies with the first 100 being on marble vinyl. That should tell you that this is a release entirely for collectors who absolutely must own everything. Celebrate the Dead covers all of the various phases of Beherit, starting with the weird droning Ambient stuff and gradually making its way over to the Black Metal sound that most fans associate with the band. The first track, “Demon Advance,” is divided into two segments. The first half is a droning, somewhat Industrial sounding piece with whispered vocals, repetitive guitars and mechanical drumming. It could easily pass as a guitar-based cover of one of their old Electronic songs. The second half of “Demon Advance” is the part where the keyboards come out and the guitars go away. This section of the track is still droning and repetitive, but this time the music is best described as Dark Ambient. The vocals on this section are very strange. It sounds like they were done in a way that was intentionally zoned out and off key. Of the four distinct parts of this EP, this one is the hardest to get into. The second side, “Celebrate the Dead,” is more in line with what we expect from Beherit. It’s dark. It’s evil-sounding. Most of all, it’s Black fucking Metal. The first half of “Celebrate the Dead” sounded strangely familiar and I think it was because the drumming and guitar parts were essentially the same as the first part of “Demon Advance.” The addition of growled vocals and keyboards made this part far more listenable than the first part of “Demon Advance,” though. The second half of “Celebrate the Dead” is the best part. This section of the song is more complex and interesting. The addition of acoustic guitars to the droning guitar and eerie keyboards makes the music sound much darker. If Celebrate the Dead had been a 7-inch EP with the title track split into two separate songs, this would have been a fucking ten in my book. The second half of this EP is, for a longtime fan of Beherit, worth it. I couldn’t say the same for the first half. “Demon Advance” doesn’t totally suck, but it’s far too weird for most folks. The first half of this EP (particularly the part with the zoned out vocals) takes a lot of getting used to. Even now, after I’ve listened to the whole thing about a dozen times, I don’t think it is nearly as good as “Celebrate the Dead” in terms of musical quality. If you can find “Celebrate the Dead” on iTunes or some other MP3 site, I’d buy just that song.
Page 1 of 1 pages
I felt like Beherit was trying to find a balance between the style on Engram and the ambient/electronic stuff they do; this release isn’t perfect by any means but I find myself listening to it a lot more than I expected I would after first hearing it. If they can get the metal-to-ambient proportions right for a full length it’ll be absolutely killer.
Page 1 of 1 pages