The Beast of the Apocalypse
A Voice from the Four Horns of the Golden Altar

Just as you’re recovering from last year’s Teitanblood assault, here comes The Beast of the Apocalypse to scratch the scabs from your ears and let the blood trickle out anew. A Voice from the Four Horns of the Golden Altar proves once again that you don’t need to use reedy, tremolo guitars and thin production to execute your black metal art. This is cavernous, corroded and completely low-end, from the filthy guitars to the rotten, pummeling thud of the drums, and all of it drowning in a miasma of crackling fuzz. Chaotic, gargled vocals complete the nightmare, choked out through lips that sound like they’ve been cauterized on the end of Satan’s cock.

The Beast of the Apocalypse shares some ambient elements with another sonic abomination from the Netherlands – black/doom/ambient project Gnaw Their Tongues. (And in fact, Gnaw mastermind Mories handled the art and helped with the mastering for this album). But whereas Tongues is a burbling stew of black metal, classical music, Italian giallo soundtracks and screaming opera divas, this is much more stripped-down and spartan. The palette here is mostly limited to demonic choirs, sounding like they’re echoing up from the abyss, but occasionally some classical touches emerge as well – horror-movie brass at the start of “Twins of Jesus” and “And They Withdrew Up to Their Heavens,” or damaged cascading piano at the end of the plodding title track. It’s all restrained and tasteful even as it’s completely repulsive.

As you’d expect, there’s not much in the way of melody, and that’s fine, because that’s clearly not the goal here. If the goal was to create something foul and hellish and terrifying, then The Beast of the Apocalypse has certainly succeeded. And for a black metal album that’s (as so many are) preoccupied with Satan, this at least conveys a genuine sense of occult mysticism – right down to the elaborately folded liner notes the disc was packaged in (kind of a mash-note from Hell). Fans of Portal, Anaal Nathrakh, Teitanblood and Ignivomous, here’s your next session of aural rape. Enjoy.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
January 11th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Tom

    (Un)Holy crap. I love this and must get a hold of it.


  2. Commented by: Henry

    Mories is not part of our band. He did the sleeve art and helped with the mastering of the record.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    fix on the way, sorry


  4. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Don’t really hear the Ignivomous relationship, but it sounds good to my ears !


  5. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I threw that in there so you would check it out :)

    Actually I was just referencing the dirtier, nastier side of metal that seems to be getting more popular of late. Could have referenced Revenge instead I suppose, and keep it all black metal.


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