Leviathan
Tentacles of Whorror


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
August 17th, 2007 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Quality Metal in the United States is few and far between. The country is awash with trendy, unoriginal, and badly written excuses for Metal. The Black Metal scene in the United States is even more dismal, with Agalloch straying farther and farther away from Black Metal, Xasthur getting worse as time goes on, and other bands which aren't up to par with their Scandanavian brothers, it seems that Black Metal is going extinct in the United States. However, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. San Francisco's blasphemous, one man Black Metal act Leviathan is still going strongly, playing the incoherent and evil Black Metal so many fans admire. It's everything one could want from a Black Metal band and then some, consistently putting out quality material which is worthy of comparison with the likes of European Black Metal, something which almost every USBM band can't say.

If you have heard Leviathan's first full-length album The Tenth Sub Level Of Suicide you will know that Leviathan means business, and that you will only find the darkest of the dark, and the most evil and blasphemous of Black Metal. The man behind the mask, or should I say the man behind the corpsepaint, Wrest is a very talented individual who plays every instrument and provides the vocals, and everything is of the utmost quality (production aside). Also if you know a lot about Leviathan, you will know that Wrest is not afraid of experimenting with various sounds and instruments, whether it be a piano or acoustic guitar, Leviathan has used pretty much all of it at least once. Most of the time, though, it's all straight-forward, in-your-face Black Metal. Wrest is not one to screw around, and he is dead serious when it comes to his music.

The guitars on the album are of the typical Black Metal type, lots of grinding and buzz-saw like sounds, but also every once in a while there is a break from the action, like in the middle of A Bouquet Of Blood For Skull, where the heavy instruments break off to reveal a calming, yet chilling, bridge, with ominous guitar picking and strange ambient effects in the background. There are also some great riffs featured here, but don't expect them to be melodic, they are all very crushing and hateful, and thats what makes Leviathan different. Wrest isn't afraid of breaking away from grinding, fast guitars and to go into a catchy, dark, and sinister riff which will get any metalhead moshing in a matter of seconds, perfectly portrayed in the song Heir To The Noose Of Ghoul, which showcases tons of riff changes and great variety. The drumming is very, very well done, and it is part of what makes the overall sound Leviathan produces. Wrest often strays away from the typical blast beat and adds his own touches, whether it be a fill here and there or a nasty double bass kick, and it will knock you off your feet and take you by surprise.

The vocals are another thing which makes me grin from ear to ear. Wrest is one of the best vocalists in Black Metal, and even though his voice is layered and sometimes distorted, Wrest has one of the most evil Black Metal shrieks I've ever encountered. They are high-pitched and ghastly, it's hard to imagine a human being can make a sound like that. Needless to say they fit the music with the utmost perfection, and you won't even notice the lack of variety in the vocals, since none is needed. It's a shame that the vocals are so well done, because the production of this album is pretty terrible. The guitars are a bit overpowered by the drums, and the bass is a bit swallowed, but since this is a Black Metal album, I won't complain too much.

The album clocks in at a very lengthy 1.2 hours, and it's hard to take in with one sitting. The good thing about the length though, is that you get a ton of high quality Black Metal, and this album proves that Leviathan is at the forefront of the current USBM scene, producing album after album of quality material which is easily accessible to the fans of this band. Tentacles Of Whorror is a superbly written piece of music, that is worth the attention of Black Metal fans all over the world.

Pros

+Superb Vocals
+Excellent Guitar Work
+Good Variety Of Riffs
+Excellent Drumming

Cons

-Terrible Production
-Very Lengthy



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
robin2220
August 17th 2007


569 Comments


Wonderful review. This album makes me feel dirty.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2007


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this album. My favorite Leviathan album is "Howl Mockery At The Cross" however.

This album makes me feel dirty.


Ya the title is pretty crazy This Message Edited On 08.17.07

robin2220
August 17th 2007


569 Comments


I have yet to hear that album.

rattlehead42147
August 17th 2007


1345 Comments


if this review was half as bad as the album youd be looking at a neg vote but you came through with a great review as usual
and for the record pretty much all USBM sucks

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2007


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think Leviathan is a breath of fresh air in the USBM scene, but everyone has their opinion, thanks for the positive feedback.

robin2220
August 17th 2007


569 Comments


and for the record pretty much all USBM sucks

That statement makes me sad even though I agree a lot of USBM is pretty bad.

blackmilk
August 17th 2007


584 Comments


Capitalizing genre names isn't necessary. You also should consider putting song names in quotations, not bolding. Italicizing a band's name is pointless.

with Agalloch straying farther and farther away from Black Metal,
They were barely "black metal" in the first place.

it seems that Black Metal is going extinct in the United States.
How good you perceive these bands to be doesn't take away from the fact that there is a decent-sized black metal scene in the US.

and that you will only find the darkest of the dark, and the most evil and blasphemous of Black Metal.
lol

whether it be a fill here and there or a nasty double bass kickp
How exactly does this make the drum work any different than other black metal groups? A large amount actually don't rely soley on blast beat rhythms.

This Message Edited On 08.17.07This Message Edited On 08.17.07

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2007


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the criticism, I'll re-write some of those lines.

khashayarx
August 18th 2007


42 Comments


The Only Black Metal Bands That I Enjoy Are "Dimmu Borgir" & "Satyricon".Great Review.You Made Me Eager To Check This Out.

robin2220
August 18th 2007


569 Comments


You don't enjoy black metal then cause both of those bands are barely black metal.

kalkal50
August 19th 2007


2386 Comments


those bands suck, dark medieval times is a good album though

robin2220
August 19th 2007


569 Comments


This is a good album.

kalkal50
August 19th 2007


2386 Comments


i just downloaded it, will listen tonight

Wizard
July 8th 2008


19641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is really spooky but not as good as MCAAM!

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

rasputin
October 14th 2009


14555 Comments


this isn't as bad as i thought it was going to be

more listens and i'll have a better formed opinion

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2009


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm surprised you say that, I figured you wouldn't like this.

rasputin
October 14th 2009


14555 Comments


i didnt think much of massive conspiracy, although im going to relisten to that. i listened to this last night after i went to bed so i only got about the first three quarters. but why wouldnt i like it? it's not like some boring wodensthrone or faggy synth cumswap.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2009


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah but it's so ridiculously over the top (in terms of lyrics, song titles, etc.) that it just didn't strike me as something you would enjoy. I haven't listened to Massive Conspiracy... in a while either, maybe I should also re-listen to see if my opinion changes.

rasputin
October 14th 2009


14555 Comments


yeah I know what you mean, but I won't deny the fact that I do listen to and enjoy some over the top albums. eg none of these song titles compare to GBK or anything

Hawks
June 16th 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This rules so god damn hard.



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