Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leviathan-Verrater (2002)

Those of you who live in San Francisco may have seen or even bought some of the many self released cassettes by the mysterious one man black metal band called Leviathan. Or some of you may have seen Andee or Allan sporting their Leviathan shirts, or you may have even seen Wrest, the man behind Leviathan lurking around AQ...regardless, Leviathan is the latest and certainly one of the greatest of the Bay Area black metal bands (Ludicra, Sangre Amado, Crebain, Draugar and the godlike Weakling [both also on tUMULt], etc...) who seem to exist in some sort of vacuum here while elsewhere, band after unoriginal band keep getting signed to huge labels and hyped to death even though most of them suck.
For this release Andee and Wrest went through the 13 full length Leviathan cassettes/cd-r's (as of the release of Verrater that number had leapt to 15!) Leviathan had recorded since 1998 to compile a good overview. But they couldn't whittle it down enough so one disc became two, with the first disc being the newer stuff, and disc two being the older, raw-er material.
Verrater is pure, primitive, cult, home recorded evil. Two discs, twenty two tracks, one hundred and forty three minutes of buzzing, howling, pummelling, black metal. Think Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, that sort of thing, but with all sorts of weird twists and sonic surprises. Yes, Leviathan is grimmer than grim metal that the frost & forest lords of Norway should bow down to, but it's also pure expression unfettered by genre restraints, although informed and inspired by them. Like Weakling, Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra, Caacrinolas, Ludicra, Potentiam, Enslaved, and some other AQ-championed black metal acts, this is not just one for fans of black metal only! It's dark, weird, noisy, disturbing art embodying one man's vision that should be heard by anyone into avantgarde, experimental, psychically and physically powerful rock music. From blasting howling fury to moody ambient blackness to off kilter weirdness to droning riffery to soul crushing heaviness. What's truly remarkable is that one man, playing all the instruments himself, and recording at home, can evoke such strong emotions and invoke such musical demons. Original, evil, hateful, misanthropic, bizarre and truly black metal. "

This man is utterly terrifying. I question his actual status as a man. Very rarely has music transported me to such dark landscapes and hellish conditions. It sounds like a bunch of horseshit but it's not. This is truly otherworldly music and not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, I can't help but give it my highest recommendation possible because Wrest is undeniably a evil genius. Get schooled.

The whole of deceit

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