Bethmoora – Thresholds (Review)

Bethmoora - ThresholdsThis is the debut album from Bethmoora, a doom/sludge band from Denmark.

It’s good to hear such a malignant slab of filthy doom-fuelled hateful sludge like this now and again. It strips away pretentions and allows you to get a good long hard look at the muck and grime.

And for Eternity, They Will Devour His Flesh opens with menacing noise, before the band’s true crushing heaviness comes crashing down on the listener with the slow, relentless punishment of grim doom. I like the vocals a lot, as the singer soon reveals himself as being very capable of screams, growls, and everything in between. Very nice indeed. Well, maybe nice isn’t the right word…Oh, I do so enjoy the slowness, the drawing out of distorted malice into long hate-filled songs that just want to smash the life out of you with their inevitability. Who wouldn’t want that, eh? It’s especially good when it’s augmented by an atmospheric turn, or a burst of horrible noise. When the band occasionally pick up the pace the music rumbles like thunder, only with far more destructive effects.

All of the above is essentially referring to just the first song, but can be extrapolated out to the rest of the album. There is no dip in quality, just variations on a theme. If this sounds dismissive, it’s not meant to be, as each of the four songs here are great. Let’s take track two, for example. Holy Hell! Keeper sounds like it’s the coming of 1,000 daemons. Is this the end times? By the sound of this apocalyptic funeral march, it could well be. And when it slows it just swamps the listener in hopeless despair. The ending appears to be the sound of the band being sucked into the underworld. Evil stuff.

Painted Man starts with inhuman roars and then proceeds to swallow all light and goodness. Possibly the heaviest track here? Stiff competition, but a compelling case could be made. The album ends with Lamentation, which embodies a sort of relentless anguished darkness that sounds like it’s going to drag you down into the murk and keep you there forever. It’s a fitting way to end a collection of music that most people would run a mile from, but which devoted sludge and doom aficionados should immediately make a priority to spend some time with.

This is hideously nasty. If an (un)appealing mix of bands such as Khanate, Body Void, Nomadic Rituals, Primitive Man, Bismuth, Vile Creature, and Keeper floats your boat, then this is a must.

Essential.

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