Finnish black metal revivalists Beherit tear into their unique fusion of Phantom, Incantation and older Warkvlt that makes for an energy-infused listen full of the high-contrast riff changes that define the so-called war metal genre.
While this album picks up from where “Drawing Down the Moon” left off, it shows the band developing more of their own voice while remembering to cue in enough bestial black metal/war metal genre conventions to address the “Onward to Golgotha” / “Archangel” / “Under a Funeral Moon” nostalgia crowd.
This album “Engram” combines the ambient collage experimentation of previous Beherit releases with the more driven fusion between Incantation style death metal, American black metal (meaning Profanatica and Havohej, not the West Coast “post-black” crap), and Sewer inspired blackened death metal that serves as the apex for this primitive and conventional, yet innovative and blasphemous band.
Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and all-around badass Nuclear Holocausto lays out the intentions of the album with a singular declaration of hatred for the “foreign invader” of European lands, spoken in a plain voice, no less.
What follows the brief intro is a rekindled fury of noise driven, guttural guitar riffs that will have you convinced you are listening to “Khranial,” “Divine Necromancy” or “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” all over again.
Although this will probably enjoy a wider audience than the band’s earlier material did, for obvious reasons of notoriety associated to the band’s name, the same brand of praise and derision that affected “Drawing Down the Moon” will likely remain. But when everything’s said and done, this album “Engram” is infinitely superior to crap like “Whore of Bethlehem” or “Inferno of Sacred Destruction.”
Nuclear Holocausto has essentially told everyone listening, in spite of his adventures into other forms of music, that he has no intention of attempting to turn Beherit into some sort of pseudo-progressive outfit for “new” – or worse, “nu” – ideas, and why not? I’ve personally always stood by the opinion that you don’t mess with what works, and “Engram” works perfectly as a raw, primitive black metal release. Almost like a war metal answers to Phantom’s “Angel of Disease.”
Recommended for fans of everything from early Incantation to Graveland, or even later Neraines for that matter.