Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bahimiron - Rebel Hymns of Left Handed Terror (2011)

Bahimiron is a band of brutes from Texas which performs one of the most fuck-ugly brands of black metal imaginable, and if you think I'm offering that as an insult, guess again: their third full-length Rebel Hymns of Left Handed Terror is functioning fully as intended. I hear a bit of noisy Beherit in this, infused with the more violent Canadian causeways of Blasphemy, Revenge and Conqueror. No regard for complexity or subtlety required, just a hammering to the skull and the subsequent molestation of emptied eye sockets. But somewhere deeper in the primal maelstrom, I was surprised that a layer of atmosphere almost naturally manifests due to the oozing grime of the guitars and the constant morbid howling of the vocals, plus a few ominous synthesizer swells.

Let's be clear: you are not listening to a record like this because it might be 'catchy'. No, it's just disgusting, plain and simple. The listener is meant to become unnerved or to revel in the hellish jets of spunk like a satyr in heat, not to pore over each minute detail like a nerd and his Dream Theater records. This is more akin to Prosanctus Inferi than progression, and the churning tremolo riffs that propel "Their Blood Shall Fill My Chalice", "Wielder of Demon Blades" and "Throes of Oblivion" are liable to create headaches with each successive spin. However, the band is hardly monotonous: they'll break down into chugging black/thrash rhythms or even spend a few minutes exploring a dark, thriving ambiance.

This is especially important with longer pieces like "Bestial Raids of Antichrist Darkness" or the titular "Rebel Hymns", both close to 9 minutes in length. I'm not sure the band's basic formula would hold up for such a spell, so it's good to see that the band is on the same page with me. "Bestial Raids..." has a dreary, horrifying ambient sequence to round out the massacre, and "Rebel Hymns" incorporates a lot of varied growls while the riffs slowly transform across its repulsive landscape. The band also revisits their fascination for noise and ambient with "The Death of Divinity", which features about 7 minutes of the stuff with some low-end, harrowing curves of bass-like distortion. Not pretty, but it should definitely help usher in the apocalypse.

Rebel Hymns... is offering more of an overall, ghastly experience than an intricate metal record, but if I had one complaint it would be that this seems to be its only real forte. The tinny drums and weighted, crude guitars can really only hold the attention if you desire a glimpse into such a wretched underworld as fuels these folks' imaginations. I know it's not necessarily the band's modus operandi, but it wouldn't kill the music or the mood to pen a few better guitar riffs here or there. As it stands, the axe lines, the dense and fuzzed bass, and the screeching, uncouth leads fit like bricks into an edifice of agony, but they don't really demand repeated visits. Bahimiron are decent for black metal clothed in an infernal racket, but there's still plenty of room for growth.

Verdict: Win [7/10]

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