In the year 2009 the legendary Beherit released their convincing comeback-album Engram, which hit me with the power of a thousand suns. Releasing the "At the Devil's Studio 1990" was an absolute cultural achievement, too. Anyway, what I'm reviewing now is Beherit's latest vinyl-release entitled Celebrate the Dead. The EP contains two long songs' worth of demo material recorded in Bangkok and Helsinki in 2008.
So, are the songs just useless leftovers for the band's true fans? I think not, as the songs are actually very impressive. The A-side opens with an instrumental section which offers fairly calm and wafting jamming with a bouncy bass and a reverbed electric guitar. After this, the song becomes synth-driven and the vocals come in - clean vocals, to be precise. It doesn't sound like black metal anymore, really, but almost like psychedelic rock. It sounds really intriquing, and was surely a successful experiment. The oriental influences are one more thing that grab my interest, and they seem to fit Beherit's music excellently. The sampled and really simple drums do their part as well, although real drums might've brought more variation with them.
The B-side's song Demon Advance is featured on the Engram-album, but this version is naturally an earlier demo-version of it. As you can guess, the B-side is clearly slow black metal. The song is very atmospheric and repetitive, and finally brings out the growled vocals as well. The song isn't radically different from the version on Engram, but I found the production on this version very pleasing. In all its repetition, it's a great jamming black metal song!
In my opinion, Celebrate the Dead should find its way to each Beherit-fan's record shelf. This vinyl also demonstrates how versatile and experimental Beherit can be when it decides so. Still, even after counting all its good sides, it must be said that it somewhat feels like an "extra" release to slake the fans' thirst for a while. I hope that Beherit will make more releases as I bet that their best is yet to be seen and heard.