Leviathan - Tentacles of Whorror
Moribund Cult
Depressive Gloomy Black Metal
12 songs (72:28)
Release year: 2004
Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Daniel
Album of the month

Leviathan has been regarded as one of the best and most original underground US Black Metal acts since the release of The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide album in 2003; with that album Wrest, which is the only member of Leviathan, proved what he was capable of doing; honestly, I never thought that Leviathan could get better than that, but my friends, I was oh so very wrong.

One year later Leviathan strikes again with an amazing Black Metal album, probably one of the best albums to emerge from the US Black Metal underground, and definitely one of the best albums of the year.

Leviathan play highly depressive, grim Black Metal, every single note is cold as death and creepy as hell; Wrest succeeds in creating one of the darkest and gloomiest atmospheres I have recently heard in a Black Metal album, so be prepared because for the next 72 and a half minutes you will be totally engulfed by it. The production plays a great role in creating this atmosphere as it helps to maintain a raw sound but at the same time all the instruments are clear and balanced (at least for Underground Black Metal standards) at almost all moments, even the bass guitar, which is an instrument many times forgotten in Black Metal albums is very clear.

Another thing that makes this album so great apart from the atmosphere is the incredibly varied that this album is, I would even dare to use the word progressive to describe the music of Leviathan; you’ll find from fast paced aggressive tracks to slower more atmospheric ones and everything in between; this maintains the album interesting at all times because of it’s unpredictability; also Wrest manages to do a lot of variation and progression in each song in a very natural way; each song flows perfectly and nothing seems to be forced; you can find yourself in the middle of a classic tremolo picking Black Metal riff when all of a sudden a mid-paced Death Metal riff is thrown in, just to be replaced a minute later by hypnotic keyboards and guitar; amazing, simply amazing.

The first track, What Fresh Hell, is one of the most aggressive tracks in the album, featuring some great riffing which ranges from tremolo picking to a great mid-paced galloping riff. The next track, Heir to the Noose of Ghoul, has more of a Death Metal influenced Black Metal approach; in this song Wrest uses a variety of Death Metal riffs as well as some Black Metal ones. Cut, with the Night into Mine Heart, which is the following track, is a more traditional Black Metal song with a nice atmospheric interlude. The next track, A Bouquet of Blood for Skull begins with some brutal riffing but half-way through the song it transforms into an atmospheric piece, filled with deeply depressive keyboards which will slowly make way for the next track, Deciphering Legend Within the Serpent's Briar, which is a mid/slow-paced atmospheric track with an excellent bass on it.

The album continues in this vein, shifting from fast-paced aggressive tracks like Vexed and Vomit Hexed and Requiem for a Turd World, to more atmospheric ones like the two interludes, and Tentacles of Whorror (Revel the Tyrant), which reminds of the mighty Burzum.

I consider this one of those albums you have to take as a whole; each song is vital for Tentacles of Whorror to work correctly. I think that in order to appreciate the storm a little bit of peace is required, and this is manged perfectly in the album by including the interludes and slower, calmer songs, which might lack the sheer power of some other tracks, but that is replaced by desperate, painful, depressive songs that become as effective as the other more “in your face” tracks.

I, being a great fan of Black Metal, couldn’t be happier with this release, it has everything a great album needs: great song structures, fresh and new ideas, excellent vocals, sick lyrics (and vocals), good arrangements, an incredibly fitting production, and amazing musicianship. I was so tired of bands releasing the same album again and again;Leviathan couldn't have arrived at a better moment.

I must warn you that a certain experience in the genre is necessary to fully grasp this excellent album due to the fact that it is really complex and dark, but in the other hand that is what makes this a Black Metal masterpiece, so if you call yourself a die-hard fan of the genre you should be already rushing to the store to pick it up, specially if you like bands in the vein of Xasthur. If you’re a casual Black Metal listener I would recommend you to listen to it first before buying because it isn’t a very easy to comprehend album and it probably isn’t the type of music you’re used to, but if you give it time I’m sure it will grow in you and with each listen you’ll understand it and like it more. All in all, an excellent and fresh Black Metal release.

Killing Songs :
Every song is a vital part of this grim masterpiece.
Daniel quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Leviathan that we have reviewed:
Leviathan - Scar Sighted reviewed by Goat and quoted 92 / 100
Leviathan - The Tenth Sub Level Of Suicide reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Leviathan - Massive Conspiracy Against All Life reviewed by James and quoted 93 / 100
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