Last month, KVLT Finland released Beherit‘s long-awaited sixth album, ‘Bardo Exist‘, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette tape, and digital formats. The tape version is strictly limited to 250 copies and will not contain a bonus track.
In case you missed it, stream it below. It’s a harrowing yet awesome experience.
Beherit are one of the most legendary names in the history of black metal, and also one of the most infamous. Formed in 1989 and intermittently active for the majority of the ‘90s, their work during this period was extremely influential if not largely hated by normal “black metal” people. The sheer savagery shown on their early ‘90s demos laid the foundation for the bestial metal subgenre that would blossom in the new millennium, and the 1993 debut album Drawing Down the Moon fused unapologetic primitivism with eerie mystical atmospheres, thereby birthing a landmark record.
Beherit’s next two albums, H418ov21.c and Electric Doom Synthesis, saw now-lone mainman Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance stripping away conventional black metal altogether and pursuing a ritualistic ambient direction. Daring but divisive, following these two albums did he retire the Beherit name and seek alternate musical expressions under other monikers.
In the ensuing decade, Beherit’s influence would spread far and wide to a whole new generation of sonic deviants, all before Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance would return with the all-metal Engram in 2009. The two-song yet exceptionally epic & hypnotic Celebrate the Dead arrived in 2012, but then Beherit retreated back to the shadows…
…Only to emerge, with the surprise release of Bardo Exist on Friday, November 13th 2020. Indeed, this album is a “surprise” in many ways, as Beherit remain predictably unpredictable. When one’s definition of black metal prizes unorthodoxy, then it only makes perfect sense that Holocausto here reinvigorates his dark ambient approach of the past, yet recasts it in a brilliant new light. Exceptionally dark but with kaleidoscopic colors emanating from a wide spectrum of sound, Bardo Exist moves like a dream set to film. The tones are vibrant and ethereal and often menacing; rhythms pulse mechanically when need be, or disintegrate altogether; Holocausto’s vocals similarly come in when need be, but get mulched in a most nightmarish manner; and often does trumpet-like instrumentation linger like an ominous fog across the album’s compact 38-minute runtime. And, predictably unpredictable, the first pressing of both the CD and vinyl versions includes a 23-minute bonus track on a separate CD – of the album’s titular “Bardo Exist.” Hearing is believing, as this composition is utterly engrossing and far from the throwaways most “bonus tracks” are.
1. Aivosota [0:47]
2. Shadow Prayer [6:24]
3. Coruscation [2:08]
4. Acid Death Vision [4:36]
5. Extreme Thirst and Insomnia [2:38]
6. Blindsight [2:40]
7. Silom Vortex [2:46]
8. Mens Rea [2:05]
9. Ghost Visitor [5:33]
10. Peilien Vanki [3:19]
11. Sorrowers [4:05]
Singular and serpentine, Beherit begin a glorious new epoch with ‘Bardo Exist‘…or end one. Only Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance knows what his future holds, but here is there truly darkness after the dawn.