Benighted Leams - Ferly Centesms
Supernal Music
Unorthodox Ambient Black Metal
9 songs (32:18)
Release year: 2004
Supernal Music
Reviewed by Daniel
Album of the month

Imagine falling asleep, soon you begin to dream and you find yourself in a forest, a vast and humid forest, you look in all directions but all you see is trees and a leave covered, wet soil floor. As you try to move you feel more like swimming than actually moving and everything seems to go in slow motion; sometimes as you walk you feel like you’ve been there but actually it’s somewhere new. At first you hate it there, it’s so weird and different you just want to get the fuck away from there. Suddenly you wake up, at first you feel a great relief of being away from the forest, but as the time passes you find yourself wishing to be there again, in that strange place you just didn’t get at first but that you now secretly desire so much.

Well dear friends; that forest has a name and it’s Ferly Centesms; brought to you courtesy of Supernal Music’s owner Alex Kurtagic, and his solo project Benighted Leams.

Let me tell you that this album is my first experience with this band and quite an adventure it is. This has to be one of the albums which have cost me the most to get into; it’s simply so… strange and different to anything I’ve heard in a long time. There’s nothing better than an album that is so different to what you’re used to, that it takes some time for you to adjust to it and finally grasp all of its essence. The first time I heard Ferly Centesms, I didn’t know what to think, I simply didn’t get what was going on, I didn’t even know if I liked it; some time later I decided to give it a try once again, to go back to that weird forest dream I experienced before. I still didn’t get it but I knew it was something special and that more listens where required to fully grasp what was going on. Later on I suddenly found myself totally enjoying the experience Ferly Centesms is, and each time I played the album I could really feel like if I was in the forest I described to you at the beginning of my review.

Well, 20 listens later I’m sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out a way to explain to all of you dear readers what this album is like. The best way I could find to describe it to you was with the passage I wrote at the beginning of the review; obviously that isn’t good enough for a music reviewer so here’s my best shot at it. Some of the guitars create a really thick wall of sound while others (lead guitars maybe?) play some very melancholic melodies; on top of that some really atmospheric keyboards give a very deep sound and feeling to the music, making the atmosphere even deeper. The drums, probably drum machine, are extremely minimalist, as it was expected for these type of release, and there are practically no vocals, just a growl/shriek here and some spoken words there nothing more. The tempo is slow in most parts but there are some really weird tempo changes from time to time in which the music speeds up, just to be slowed down once again really quick, it’s as if the music all of a sudden decided to go fast just to repent at the last moment; really nice playing with the tempos there.

Making this album an even more deep and engulfing experience is the production; it makes it feel like a deep, magical dream. You’ll probably already be drawing comparisons with other bands I’ve reviewed recently, namely Xasthur and Velvet Cacoon. Well, the truth is Benighted Leams ain’t too far from those bands in this album, but yet it is quite different. For example, if you remember, I also mentioned a dream like feeling in Xasthur’s Telepathic with the Deceased, well this one has it too, just think of Telepathic with the Deceased as a very negative, depressive nightmare, while Ferly Centesms is a melancholic dream. As for the Velvet Cacoon comparisons, well, Genevieve is extremely more minimalist than this album; Ferly Centesms experiences a lot of variations when compared to other ambient Black Metal, yet maintaining simple enough to make it quite hypnotical. All of these musical and production factors created the vision of the forest described at the beginning; who knows maybe it will transport you to another place, maybe Ferly Centesms is an old house in your mind, or a dessert, who knows, maybe the cover of the album helped my mind out. Anyway, the truth is this album is really an amazing experience no one should pass out.

Benighted Leams has brought us one hell of an album, so people, don’t be afraid to try this different masterpiece, it may prove difficult to get into at first but I’m sure the effort is well worth it; you’ll soon find yourselves in love with the breath taking experience Ferly Centesms is.

Killing Songs :
All the album feels like one big killer song.
Daniel quoted 92 / 100
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