Woods of Belial
Deimos XIII

Woods of Belial is a Finnish “industrialized black doom” band, borrowing from such acts as Skepticism and Abruptum and Darkthrone. They have been around since 1996, started recording Deimos XIII in 2000, and finished it in 2003. This is their first album, following two demos, and three labels.

Firebox claims this to be “51 minutes of the most morbid music ever made.” It takes more than lines like “You can’t understand what you’re lost inside” to be funeral doom. The booklet calls it “suicide doom.” Four songs with an intro, and the intro is industrial rhythms, not a plus.

“Desolate” starts with nice slow ponderous doom riffs, so far so good. Shrieked vocals are too low in the mix, but the guitar sounds great, nice and heavy but not depressively heavy. It is four minutes plus before the song even gets underway with some keyboard melodies. The “noise” as they call it is rather musical in a conventional sense and does not overwhelm the rhythm until the twelve minute mark. Vocals are distorted a little too much and are not quite recognizable. There are several long passages without words, and they seem long. “Halla” begins with a pace that is a little more up tempo and the vocals seem a little clearer, but still too distorted (or not enough). The noise effects are much more intrusive, otherwise this song is more of the same. Next is “The 13th Horror,” with a Hollywood horror movie intro, then vintage Black Sabbath heaviness but no flow or direction. At seventeen minutes, it feels like three songs in one with garbled noise effects to separate the parts instead of to link the parts. When the pace picks up it’s good, otherwise it really drags on. It is mercifully over at 17 minutes. “Pervertum” is the final track and by the time this song has hit the three minute mark I’ve lost all patience with the album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
November 19th, 2003

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