Beherit - At the Devil's Studio 1990
Hells Headbangers
Black Metal
9 songs (26:28)
Release year: 2011
Beherit, Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Charles
Fuck, what a disgusting noise! Hells Headbangers has apparently found the first Beherit album gathering dust in Sodomatic Slaughter’s basement. As you might expect, it is raw as an uncauterised limb-stump. The drums are almost drowned out by the crackling, scraping guitar tone, and the vocals take the form of distantly-heard dying-animal grunts and ghoulish shrieks. It is actually quite invigorating to listen to; an unfocused blast of old-school wrath, from 1990 when second-wave Scandinavian black metal was still emerging from the shadow of 80s death and thrash.

Admittedly with some of At the Devil's Studio it’s hard to see why anyone would ever want to listen aside from through curiosity, simply because it's so damn unpolished. Whores of Belial, for example, is just a whirring morass of blasting, with any riffs to speak of faintly visible as ill-defined shapes behind all the feedback. It just cycles around and around, like lumpy porridge made with glass granules instead of oats. Other offerings, though, have a wanton proto-black vigour which is quite energising. Grave Desecration Vengeance and The Devil’s Churns are hastily built around flailing atonal riffs and slavering high-pitched squeals which pass for guitar solos. And Demonomancy is a nightmarish highlight: surreal vocal roars- which sound cruelly, torturously inhuman- struggle to make themselves heard over an avalanche of inscrutably dense riffing.

Excepting an early version of The Oath of Black Blood, there’s very little of the droning misery that would come to characterise Drawing Down the Moon. Instead, At the Devil’s Studio has more in common with stuff like Mayhem’s Deathcrush; more a primal expression of sheer bloody rowdiness than the occult industrial weirdness of The Gate of Nanna or the surprisingly calculated black metal pulverisation of 2009’s Engram. Though, of course, it's probably not as substantial a listening experience of either of those records, either, and will surely only appeal to Beherit devotees and black metal historians. It is the sound of total teenage chaos: the formative explosions whose shards would eventually embed themselves in the mature second wave scene shortly after.

Killing Songs :
Grave Desecration Vengeance, Demonomancy
Charles quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Beherit that we have reviewed:
Beherit - The Oath of Black Blood reviewed by Tony and quoted 69 / 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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