Bestia - Hallutsinatsioon review
|Release date:||July 2004|
02. Viirastus Tõusvas Tules
05. Kord Vabana Tuleme Tagasi
06. Toonela Varjud
07. Kolmas Haud Vasakult
08. Päev Et Mõista
09. Ruunide Leidmine
10. Suremise Teine Tee
11. Asynchronous Laughter
Right now I'm holding in my hands the brand new soon-to-be-released album of the Estonian black/death metal band Bestia. Its name "Hallutsinatsioon" (Hallucination) is written on the cover using an unusually calm font for a black metal release. But don't be fooled by its appearance. Inside you will find the fruits of work by skilled musicians. Eleven songs sum up to a total of 36 minutes of varying and quality extreme metal.
The album as a whole is perhaps a bit uneven in the respect that not all the songs follow the same plot. The declination isn't too big, but it's there. However it poses no threat to the albums quality. In fact, I was rather intrigued by the small side jumps in the style.
Now coming to the technical side, I must say the album managed to deliver me great joy. It offers me the black metal I like. It has the cold Nordic breeze, speed, enough melodies and anger. The opening riffs in the first song at first appeared a bit soft and I feared that the rest of the album will be mid-tempo variation poor black metal as well. I had recently experienced such a letdown and I didn't want to be disappointed again. Fortunately, some seconds after the beginning the doors to the true essence of the album opened. Who can derive pleasure from arctic ancient nature understands the elevated state of mind and the ravishment I was in. The second song somehow appeared to contain elements of Nightwish.
That does not mean that it was soft, it still followed the style of the opening track, only adding a bit more sentimentality.
When vocals can sometimes be a big flop, then in Bestia's case I must give credit to the singer who handles the black metal vocals extremely well and also has an interesting death metal growl. And that's just what you'll get in the third track "Libahunt"(Werewolf). Abandoning the romantic/longing yet crispy path, the album suddenly turns evil for two and a half minutes. That's an example of the unevenness of "Hallutsinatsioon". But fits injust nicely. Weird whisper likes growling, blasting percussions and rough riffs definitely got me up and moshing as the spell-like story of the werewolf unfolded in all its unholiness and fury. The next three tracks all have fast, melodic and melancholic tunes. The sad moods make their presence felt. And to the brutal side again, "Kolmas haud vasakult" (The third grave from the left) catches a few thrash metal elements and speeds on wrecklessly. I really enjoyed the machine like crushing guitars on this one.
Two instrumental tracks can also be found on "Hallutsinatsioon". I always like a good keyboard instrumental and when it turns out well it becomes an important part of the album.
One of them, the "Asynchronous laughter" is a short drum'n'bass kind of ending for the last song, the other one is "Ruunide Leidmine" (Finding of the runes). The latter, taking under consideration the folk elements of the album, has a more significant role to play. The dark feeling it creates with, it's calm but somewhat disturbing sounds is frightening. The short drum parts however could have been either left out or extended as they might interfere with the atmospheric aspirations of the track. On the other hand they add to the shaman feeling of the song, strengthening it's folk appearance.
I like to think of "Ruunide Leidmine" as the conclusive track of the main course of the album because the last song differs from the rest of the album a lot. I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the song "Suremise teine tee" (Alternate way of dying) had been included on "Hallutsinatsioon". It has been previously released on the 2003 promo CD, and I was quite attached to it. The song is pure death metal, with a single goal: to destroy the neck muscles for good. It's the kind of song that gets the crowd going at concerts.
Looking back towards the beginning of "Hallutsinatsioon" you can see the contrast, but as said above, it really doesn't matter.
Zoom out into the big picture again. "Hallutsinatsioon" is a strange, yet fascinating mixture of raw and cold Nordic black metal and some good death metal. The whole album has to some extent folk influences. The songs aiming to awaken feelings in the listener fulfil their objective and the ones meant to crush - well they do just that, and with great success. Got to give credit for the great composition and creativity as well.
I could probably go on and on but I guess I'll just leave the seed of curiosity in the reader and strongly recommend to get this album as soon as possible.
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