Leviathan
The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide

This 10 song 70 minute album by the U.S. based black metal misanthrope, Wrest, is described as Judas Iscariot grimness meets Burzum’s mesmerizing quality. Wrest calls it dark art for the satanic elite. Wrest performs all instruments in this mostly slow, pointedly simple music. It does have the mesmerizing quality of old Burzum, but not as mindlessly repetitive. Wrest has a good sense of rhythm. It is not just endless pounding away at instruments. There is definite structure, the songs enter your consciousness, and can be anticipated after repeated listens. The many slow passages are usually highlighted by insanely shrieking vocals. All songs are long, with the title track being a massive fifteen minutes.

It only takes a few minutes to realize Wrest is a legitimate rival of Judas Iscariot, not a mere imitator. “Submersed” is a slow, minimalistic soundscape, an instrumental interlude. On “The Idiot Sun” the vocals are among the most tortured wails and shrieks and choked sobs you’ll hear anywhere. Occasional abstract guitar noises add to the hysteria, offset by a slow and plodding pace and a buzzing bass. “He Whom Shadows Move Towards” displays some curiously familiar guitar lines about a minute and a half in. Kampfar’s “Hymne,” I’ll call it an homage because it is a great song. “Sardoniscorn” has slow passages that are particularly mesmerizing, and just enough distortion to carry the mood, not enough to bury the instrumentation in mud. All songs have their speedy passages as well.

By the way, Wrest, in the booklet, takes offense with “curious novelty seekers and their unoriginal cock=leech ideas of what ‘true’ is” If there wasn’t some disclaimer to this effect it certainly could not be ‘true’ so it must be. He also takes offense with, “mollusks that deem themselves qualified to ‘review’ for their inability to create anything.” Too bad the promo copies don’t mention this, I only know because I bought the cd before I got the promo in its cardboard sleeve. Another example of missing the target audience, or was the target audience not the reviewers but the ‘true’ fans? In any case, whether you’ll be worthy to purchase this disc or not, I recommend it. I have already added my copy to the pile of his back catalog on my shelf.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
August 10th, 2003

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