Rating:
9.2
Bekhira - L'Élu Du Mal
5 October 2005


01. Send Me These Evil Words
02. Forgotten Nazarene
03. Medieval Deathcamps
04. The Devil And The Sorcerer
05. Impure Blood Shall Flow
06. Children Of All That Is Evil
07. A Thousand Demons
08. From The Most Devastated Lands
09. L'Ere Noire...


I remember like it was yesterday. I was watching a video listing a ton of pretty obscure black metal bands whilst playing one of their songs in the background. I was just about to click the video off, due to being rather unimpressed, when suddenly that track came on. It was love at first hearing. The sound of raw aggression combined with a tragic, yet somehow epic melody created by a fuzzy, almost living guitar tone had me immediately dazzled and drooling whilst blood-red letters formed the word Bekhira on the black screen. A Google search followed, and their only full-length was quickly "acquired". I was slightly hesitant: what if the rest of L'elu Du Mal doesn't live up to the brilliant track I've heard? Oh, what a wrong assumption that was.

Medieval Europe: starving peasantry, ravaging diseases, endless filth, brutal murders, public hangings, decapitations and burnings. As if the average person living in these dark times didn't have enough to worry about, there are also worshipers of Satan roaming about, conducting God-only-knows what kind of evil rituals and similar shenanigans. I do not think there is a possible way of musically interpreting this situation better than L'elu Du Mal.

In short, I can summarize the review by calling this album "traditional black metal at its very finest". The tracks are chuck-full of content, reducing repetition to a bare minimum and offering the listener so much stuff going on that the only logical thing to do is focus and absorb all those delicious riffs and melodies. L'elu Du Mal doesn't drag for even a split second. It frequently switches tempos and creates small build-ups and climaxes in such an unforced and natural kind of way that one can't help but admire the spotless songwriting. Its different riffs just slide into one another, creating majestic but sinister melodies, backed by shrieked toad-y vocals buried somewhat deeper in the mix. The reason why this album truly shines is that almost every track is a roller-coaster, taking you on a ride from pure sonic aggression when the blast-beats kick in to the more lethargic but somehow uplifting moments when things slow down. Not to mention how some tracks are just damn catchy (see:"Medieval Deathcamps"). It is the production that adds the irresistible icing to an already delicious cake. It hits just the right spot between too much low-fi and too polished, being quite fuzzy and punishing to the untrained ears, but keeping everything (even the bass) completely audible for the more experienced listener.

No matter how tired you think you are of the "tried-and-true" black metal sound, do give L'elu Du Mal a shot. If you're not as mesmerized by it as I've been for well over 2 years now, we just can't be friends, I'm sorry.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Production: 10


 


written by Slayer666 | 22.03.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Slayer666 - 22.03.2012 at 19:51  
Hooray for my 50th review on MS!
!J.O.O.E.! - 22.03.2012 at 20:49  
Some of the best riffs in metal here, not to mention a masterclass of how to combine melody with rawness, for want of a better word.
Slayer666 - 22.03.2012 at 20:54  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 22.03.2012 at 20:49

Some of the best riffs in metal here, not to mention a masterclass of how to combine melody with rawness, for want of a better word.


Indeed. One of the very, very few albums that still make me go "soooo good!" so much time after I've first heard them.
Troy Killjoy - 23.03.2012 at 01:48  
Written by Slayer666 on 22.03.2012 at 19:51
Hooray for my 50th review on MS!

And still not a contributor? :s
Slayer666 - 23.03.2012 at 16:03  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.03.2012 at 01:48

And still not a contributor? :s


Guess I'm not likeable enough, or something.
Troy Killjoy - 23.03.2012 at 16:22  
Written by Slayer666 on 23.03.2012 at 16:03
Guess I'm not likeable enough, or something.

Well just know that you've got the key to my heart, big guy.
Slayer666 - 23.03.2012 at 16:24  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.03.2012 at 16:22

Well just know that you've got the key to my heart, big guy.


xD
Thanks.

Btw, barely 170cm is not exactly what I'd call "big"...
Troy Killjoy - 23.03.2012 at 16:29  
Written by Slayer666 on 23.03.2012 at 16:24
Btw, barely 170cm is not exactly what I'd call "big"...

That's like... 5'6". But maybe I was referring to something else.

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