Leviathan is a one man black metal band, from the states. Wrest is the man behind it, and does all his recording at home on a five on an analogue four-track, and started doing so in 1998.
This is first full-length from Leviathan, but certainly not the first release. Wrest released a ***load of demos, and a spilt album with Iuvenes before finally releasing a full-length album.
To sum up the overall atmosphere/mood of this album in short, it is very dark, and at times depressing. There are no positive emotions anywhere to be found here, it is hatred, misanthropy, depression, and suffering all wrapped up into the form of music. The songs range from full speed tracks like “Fucking Your Ghost in Chains of Ice” to slow paced tracks like “The Idiot Sun”. From this, you can almost get the idea of what it is like to be a suicidal, misanthropic mad man. This is about as dark as it gets, and the emotions are about as powerful as it gets. It’s almost like a trance listening to it at times. Again, this album is the opposite of positive emotions. If you really
get into it, you may want to kill yourself (hoping you wouldn’t really get that
One of the things I’m most impressed by with this album is the vocals. While he only really does screaming vocals, he has two distinct styles in his vocals. The first are more straight, powerful screams which are amazing, and have a surprisingly unique sound. For the second, think along the lines of Varg Vikernes (Burzum). Now, a lot of people do like them, and a lot of people dislike them (this group includes me). While I dislike Varg’s vocals, I fucking love the way Wrest does it! They sound very tortured and carry on for miles. To put it simple, he does it in a less shrieky and ear piercing way that works out wonderfully.
Wrest is solid, or even excellent with all his instruments, and you have to admit that is impressive. His drumming would fall into the “solid” category, because it really isn’t anything special. It does get the job done, and every fill fits perfectly nevertheless.
His guitar work is great; he’s got all kinds of excellent riffs all over the place. My personal favorite riff is in “The Idiot Sun”, and starts at about 2:00. Now, this guitar work is nothing technical or “impressive”, but keep in mind that it is black metal. Black Metal is meant to simplistic, and he is able to create the perfect atmosphere, and display a lot of his emotions through his guitar work.
I’m going to give bass it’s own paragraph because I think it deserves it. Typically, anyone who listens to black metal wouldn’t think of bass when they think of black metal. On this album, you bet you will. This album is packed with awesome bass work, and the bass is pretty loud, especially
for black metal. Wrest isn’t always just following the guitar, he’s often doing something different, and making the bass interesting. I consider this to be something special for black metal.
I’m no lyric junkie, so I’ll be brief. The majority of these lyrics are about suicide, but not in annoying, whinny way. Usually you have to look deeper into them. Wrest is also capable of creating some bone chilling lines such as “hovering over your false courage ghost hope and spent charity.” There’s something about that line that sends chills down my spine. Overall, I’d say the lyrics are good.
In conclusion, this is an excellent album. It’s one of my personal favorite albums. If you’re a black metal fan and you don’t own this, I pity you. Do yourself a favor and get this album, you won’t regret it, believe me. It’s almost a flawless album; I’ve been thinking about it, and I can’t find any cons. Wrest deserves credit for this excellent album.
Fucking Your Ghost in Chains of Ice
The Bitter Emblem of Dissolve
The Idiot Sun
At The Door to the Tenth Sub level of Suicide