THE BEAST OF THE APOCALYPSE - Henosis CD
Genre: Black Metal
Even though Henosis is this Dutch duo's third full length in three years it's still my introduction to the atmospheric macabre they bring forth. Many thanks goes out to an overseas pal who pushed this in my direction then again it could have been like the passing of a cursed talisman. THE BEAST OF THE APOCALYPSE is more like a nightmare of continuous dread. The sound on here is muddled up blackened drone and doom with a heavily distorted guitar and bass tone that must have been created by shoving bone fragments into the amps. Their use of keyboards are more akin to an underworld hurdy gurdy. Then there's the inhuman sounds with utter from the duo's mouths which sound like they were recorded from under a ton of piled crud. Luckily all of this ended in under forty minutes because there is a limit to even someone with extreme tastes can stand and I have been waterboarded.
This thing starts out simple enough with the ambient opener "One" but it's a trick. Once inside you are surrounding by punishing black doom and the feeling that the floor has disappeared. You have just fallen into an ominous machine that has one function and it's to crush your body into a thin coating of slime. The process continues with "Vision of the Twelve Priests Before the Altar" which is a high speed conveyor blasting away while the operators H.T. Mozes and S. Serpentijn scream and growl in delight. Notice again how I didn't use the term "vocals" in describing what mutterings emit from their mouths. As the demise continues you realize that what you consider torture this duo thinks is sadistic fun. The tones vary in intensity with even some milder moments thrown in. Although it's merely used to fuck with your mind. The alternating speeds, added keyboards which haunt instead of sooth and a completely gloom atmosphere is all there is. By the time you reach the final cut "Yaldabaoth" your remains are now suitable to fill an eight ounce cup.
Many bands within the blackened genre have followed along the lines of this nasty recipe. My all time favorite was Sweden's ABRUPTUM although what they forced upon you was more of the chaotic. This Dutch duo is more methodical as if they're just pushing the buttons and levers while the machine does the actual tearing of flesh, bone and mind. After repeated listens the horror of the imagined imagery wears off slightly. From what I've learned about THE BEAST OF THE APOCALYPSE is that this latest release is a more accessible one than their previous two which supposedly received critical acclaim. Those critics are now dead. Seriously when Henosis finally does come to it's conclusion even the silence leaves you on edge. You wondering is it really over or is this another trick. Some of you tyranny history buffs will be reminded how this was a technique used widely by secret police forces the world over. So whether it's confessing your crimes, sins or your lameness, this release will put you on the path of redemption in one form or another.