Beleth – Silent Genesis


Australian duo, Beleth, prefer not to pigeonhole their music into one specific genre. Instead, they identify with the wider extreme metal label when answering the inevitable questions about their art. While this may be true to some extent, and the final product is indeed vicious, it still lacks something transgressive and psychopathic. Maybe it’s the production or the mix or both.

Let’s be clear: there’s no doubt this band are high-calibre riff lords and have some great ideas to harvest. The title track is like a death metal group armed with a drum machine and ends up in a bizarre tangle of Cradle of Filth and Ministry. Sebasthian Bentos-Pereira’s guttural vocals will scare the life out of your daughter if you blast this in the car when driving her to school. Guitarist and chief songwriter, Chris Long, is just as assured in his delivery. ‘Cries of the Fatherless’ could be from the hand of Hetfield or Mustaine. Listen to the dirty groove and syncopation of ‘Black Speech’. This is how you work your audience into a head spin. The Randy Rhoades-esque riff near the end is even more surprising.

Unfortunately, these excellent flashes of musicianship never reach their true potential due to the lifeless audio mix and tame production. ‘First Born’ could be a monstrous slab of industrial-groove metal with better volume levels and a thicker drum sound. Machine Head treated us to the breakdown riff of the year with their sensational new single, Become the Firestorm. It’s no exaggeration to day Chris Long has something of equal brilliance, but the feeble drum snare and dull distortion of his guitars deserve more finesse at the control desk. The sixteenth note assault towards the end is just as imaginative but suffers from the same problem.

The likes of ‘Heretic’ and ‘Beleth’ offer a similar listening experience. You might call the former an extreme metal version of Rob Zombie, although a better comparison would be British solo industrialist, Northmaan. It’s dark and claustrophobic and rocks like a motherfucker. English duo Zebadiah Crowe are a good reference point here, although they learned long ago to smother their songs in inhumane noise and terrifying distortion. With an experienced hand in the studio, Beleth could ramp things up to Anaal Nathrakh levels of extremity on their next effort.

It might remind you of a late 90s demo, but Silent Genesis has its merits. Bentos-Pereira and Long make a good song writing team and know what they want from their music – crushing riffs, intimidating vocals and hard drum grooves. They could be even better with stronger production and a competent sound engineer.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 25/06/2021

Record Label: Wormholedeath Records

Standout tracks: Silent Genesis, Black Speech, Denouement

Suggested Further Listening: Northmaan – Northmaan (2021), No Names – I Surrender to the Void as of Now I am the Void (2020), Zebadiah Crowe – Lych Milk EP (2021)