Review Summary: Bohren enchant once again with a short but powerful album.
Beileid is the first release by Bohren & Der Club of Gore since 2008’s Dolores, a softer affair amongst the bands usually more brooding and sinister sound. Musically, the band blends both established sounds of their previous albums with new ideas to create a completely new and refreshing album.
The album kicks off with Zombies Never Die (Blues), which is the shortest track present and also the most recognisable in sound by those familiar with the band. Listeners will straight away be reminded of Black Earth, as the track subtly builds for the first three minutes, then is brought to life by the slow, moody saxophone. Also present is the same vibraphone style used throughout Dolores. Impressively, what sounded lighter on the previous album now sounds melancholic and full of despair. Despite being around 7:30 minutes in length, the track doesn’t seem long enough. It leaves the listener yearning for a few more minutes of its dark atmosphere, instead ending on a single, characteristically loud hit of a drum.
The next track,’ Catch My Heart’, is a cover of a heavy metal song, originally performed by Warlock. The vocal duties on the track are performed by guest vocalist Mike Patton, (better known for his role in Faith No More), and is the first track that the band has ever done to feature vocals. The decision is unusual, as the idea of singing to such an atmosphere creates great potential for spoiling it. Although some may be put off by the vocals, the track overall proves quite successful, even for those unfamiliar with the original song or vocalist. The band makes the transition between the two genres very well, making it completely their own. The track is best considered as unique however, as a permanent change in direction certainly wouldn’t suit the band, and vocals seem out of place in their music.
The album ends with the title track ‘Beileid’, more reminiscent of Geisterfaust for its much quieter and less provocative approach, and length of 14 minutes. It is the track most fitting to the mood of the album – the funeral scene on the cover, the word ‘Beileid’ itself meaning ‘condolence’. It’s sad and reflective. The track contains some effective sounds, such as the noise of a deep bell ringing periodically in the background.
The major drawback of the album as a whole is the length. Being so comparatively short to their previously work, it doesn't have the depth to capture you in ways like Sunset Mission was able to. However, it still manages this very well given its limited running time. As with all of Bohren’s albums, Beileid is best enjoyed on an evening alone. If you’re a fan of the band’s work, then this is a worthy, but not essential addition to their hugely enjoyable catalogue.