Beherit - The Oath of Black Blood
Turbo Music
Black Metal

Release year: 1991
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review

Previously, as I reviewed Finnish veterans landmark release, Drawing Down the Moon, I may have slighted it a few points. Much to the chagrin of most MR readers and reviewers, I scored it an 82 / 100. Even as I listened to it for at least the tenth time straight, I could not see what the big deal was. The vocals turned me back the way I came, and I did not really feel the way about it I do now. Hell, I did not even put The Gate of Nanna on the killing songs list! Blasphemy! Cried the MR faithful, as they lambasted me for a good while as my baptism by fire continue throughout the week until I was fully used to the hijinks of the forumites.

Only after I wrote the review and got eviscerated by the forumites did I understand that the point of Drawing Down the Moon was to establish an icy and starry atmosphere with painfully slow rhythms, foreboding and haunting vocals, and effects to solidify the feeling evoked by just the title of the album. This, is what Beherit is all about. Evoking an evil and ethereal atmosphere with their pace and raw musical tyranny. Unfortunately, the album predating Drawing Down the Moon, their debut, The Oath of Black Blood, somehow gets away from this concept. I believe that only after this album was released did they realize what they needed to accomplish on the aforementioned classic.

There really are no tracks that have the impact of The Gate of Nanna. Most of the songs are haggard and hurried shortened songs with intermittent yet oft too frequent blast beats. Blast beats are not the specialty of Beherit. This should be obvious to anyone who has heard the album. Beherit simply lack the rhythm section that blast heavy bands such as Krieg, Belphegor, or Carpathian Forest excel in. And that, my friends, is the biggest issue with The Oath of Black Blood. Why is there such a difference in drive and direction between this debut and Drawing Down the Moon?

It is very frustrating that this album that is often hailed as a landmark in Finnish Black Metal (and maybe it is, being one of the earliest outputs of the Finnish scene) has such a rushed feel. Could it be that I am not getting it again? Do I have to listen to The Oath of Black Blood ten more times through before anything clicks? Are you all going to flame me again? Given my knowledge of the now appreciated Drawing Down the Moon, I feel safe to draw a conclusion after only a few plays through. This is not a long review, nor is it pretty to read, but just like the way I feel about this album, The Oath of Black Blood is discombobulated, off pitch, and somewhat boring.

Killing Songs :
Demonomancy, Goat Worship
Tony quoted 69 / 100
Other albums by Beherit that we have reviewed:
Beherit - At the Devil's Studio 1990 reviewed by Charles and quoted 65 / 100
Beherit - Drawing Down the Moon reviewed by Tony and quoted 82 / 100
Beherit - Engram reviewed by James and quoted 68 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:19 am
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