Finnish black metal band Beherit have their own way of going about playing their fuzzy, rumbling approach to the genre. Paper-thin production leaves two entities present, one being a mishmash of distortion guitar and drums, and the other the interesting vocals which spew out few intelligible lines, but somehow manage to captivate. Indeed, with Drawing Down The Moon
, Beherit display this sound in the finest album of their career, and certainly one of the most interesting releases to come out of Finland’s black metal scene at the time. The combination of harsh, raw black metal and trudging riffing which almost feels like sludge, as well as a few surprises in the form of keyboard accents, forms a wholly successful album.
The throaty, quiet rasps and subtle whispers which comprise the vocal department fit surprisingly well with the extremely muddy guitar riffs which feature a lot of slow chords drenched in distortion and an ever-present fuzz which accompanies each instrument. The low-end is mixed incredibly high, almost melting together the bass and the guitars as they pluck away simple but effective note and chord progressions which linger around the low C string (the guitars are down-tuned to C for that added “being crushed by a freight train” effect). It’s common for black metal bands to forsake technicality and melody in favor of being “tr00” and “kvlt”, and while Drawing Down The Moon
readily follows such a stature, there are moments where slight hints at simple melody are introduced which keeps things from growing terribly stale. However, the constant plodding pace of the album becomes tiresome, and moments of filler float to the surface where the guitars just sort of meander around the vocals in an attempt to fill up time.
These sorts of tracks are littered throughout the album (see the absolutely ridiculous track "Summerlands"), and drag away some of the replay value of the album which the more well-written songs garnered. While the production isn’t inherently headache-inducing and doesn’t contain unfathomable amounts of treble, it is slightly annoying in its tendency to just shove all of the instruments together in a corner while the vocals are produced relatively high in the mix. In the end, though, all gripes can be forgiven because when it comes down to it, Drawing Down The Moon
is a really enjoyable album by a band which really tanked later in their career as they dabbled in the realm of ritualistic dark ambient which just makes them look like even bigger fools. Drawing Down The Moon
was a unique black metal album at the time of its release in 1993, and it still remains such today, but also survives as a highly enjoyable, occasionally tongue-in-cheek satanic black metal album.