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Review: Beherit - Celebrate the Dead
Celebrate the Dead

Label: Kvlt
Year released: 2022
Originally released in: 2012
Duration: 29:29
Tracks: 2
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: December 19, 2022
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Celebrate the Dead

Rated 3.29/5 (65.71%) (7 Votes)

Beherit are not a band that needs an introduction these days. During the death metal boom of the '90s, Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance (aka, Marko Laiho) defiantly created unhinged, uncompromising black metal that led to them being constantly mocked as they shared the stage with death metal bands in the scene. Of course, his hard work paid off, for not only did the band start receiving a cult following for The Oath of Black Blood and Drawing Down the Moon until they became a household name whispered in reverence and fear in the metal community, but they also ended up being the epicenter for the Finnish black metal wave that followed shortly after, making Laiho an undeniable godfather of the genre.

Of course, Beherit would go on to experiment with a number of sounds afterwards, which was met with controversy among their fans and remains a topic of debate to this day. It was in the middle of this era in 2008 when Marko recorded a couple of lengthy demo tracks which got picked up by cult record label Kvlt and given a limited vinyl release as Celebrate the Dead in 2012. There were only 1000 copies of those issued, and I have no idea if any remain, but in case there are none or you'd rather not shell out a lot of money for them, there was recently a reissue of the tracks in CD format, which is the version I am covering here.

Anyway, the tracks on Celebrate the Dead are both fairly lengthy, 13 and 16 minutes respectively, and both are a far cry from the ancient masterworks most people know them for. Opener "Demon Advance" sounds like a lost track from Drawing Down the Moon was put into a blender with the odd doomy ambience the band would experiment with afterwards, making it a creepy and hypnotic number that will hold your attention throughout its mammothine length. The title track, on the other hand, is closer to a funeral doom song with surrealistic ambience and eerie, shamanic whispers from Marko and even some clean singing in the middle. Of the two tracks, I prefer the latter for being more experimental and Marko's excellent vocals, but while anyone looking for another Oath of Black Blood will be let down, anyone in the mood for black metal that's not afraid to walk on the edge of frightening ambience will find both tracks to be odd but rewarding experiments that were well worth reissuing.

Other related information on the site
Review: At the Devil's Studio 1990 (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Drawing Down The Moon (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Oath Of Black Blood (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Nuclear Holocausto on January 11, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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