Monday, November 28, 2011

Belketre - Twilight of the Black Holocaust (1994)

Twilight of the Black Holocaust is the second demo release from Belketre. Along with the likes of Mütiilation, Vlad Tepes and Torgeist, this band was a member of the French Black Legions. Released in 1994, this demo adheres to the sound that most people identify with the LLN. The production is atrocious and there is a strong feeling of hatred that comes across. This material is not on the same level as what would appear on the March to the Black Holocaust split, with Vlad Tepes, but it is somewhat decent.

The music is not very well developed. The first song, "The Dark Promise", does not even sound like Black Metal until late in the song. The drum rhythm is very pop-oriented and really kills the feeling. The vocal patters follow suit and just really demonstrate how clueless this band was, at the time. "Despair" is a brief instrumental with a mournful vibe, but this is but a fragment of an actual song. "Hate" is even worse, as it is nothing more than a minute of random screaming, unworthy of even being given a title. The only good song on here is the title track, which is very primitive and simplistic but manages to convey a melancholic and hateful feeling. Belketre would have been better off just releasing this as a single.

The production is as awful as one would expect, sounding as if it was recorded on a four-track that was placed about three rooms over from the band. The guitars are very thin and fuzzy, while the drums sound only slightly better than those on the early Mütiilation demos. The vocals seem to have a little too much reverb, at times, but that probably goes along with the very raw and under-produced approach.

This is not a spectacular release, but it is worth checking out for "Twilight of the Black Holocaust", at least. Though there is nothing wrong with "Despair", a much better version is available on the split album, rendering this one kind of useless. This is mostly recommended to those who are already familiar with the Black Legions, as this would not be a good starting place, otherwise.