Beithioch – Ghosts Of A World Long Forgotten (2016)

beithioch

Ghosts Of A World Long Forgotten

There are many noteworthy components to Beithioch‘s craft, one of which is reminiscent of the caustic technique used by Ildjarn on Strength And Anger, and Forest Poetry. Ildjarn‘s achievement, shunned by many because of its rudimentary exterior, was to plant the germ of insinuation in the middle of an unbelievably harsh aesthetic. Similar to Transilvanian Hunger, but far more insistent in execution, Ildjarn created a music of trance-like increments, block on block, upon block. A guitar tone drenched in gain and feedback served as an analogue for the continuous drone accompaniment common to Indian classical music, but under its bubbling, viscous surface moved and writhed riffs of real danger and gravity, yet not without a certain unassuming elegance and logic. Drums were all but divorced from these riffs; absent of technicality, little more than trace outlines, like the vestiges of prehistoric art, they were a throwback to the original intention behind all human percussion in music; to keep time, but also to lose oneself in spiritual delirium by exercising the body’s inner rhythms. (in fact, in shamanic tradition, the drum, made from animal skin and bone, was meant to house the spirits of one’s ancestors, its beating, a plea for their benevolent intervention in matters of the earthly realm)

This preamble may appear as much ado about nothing, for Beithioch, on the surface at least, are a vastly different band from Ildjarn. They incorporate elaborate melodic movement for one, their music boasting a composed character far more pronounced and learned than the punkish explosions of anger that characterized the older band. Conscious experiments in counterpoint abound, at times manifesting a rustic Neapolitan aspect, at others, a cinematic ambience; in the process is cultivated a rare sensuous and intellectually-stimulating experience that does no ill favour to Beithioch‘s credentials and aspirations as a metal band worth seriously investing in.

Yet, what really enhances Beithioch‘s syncretic take on classicism is when they build these machinations on just the kind of bedrock carved out of the Ildjarn monument. A naturally acute sense of melody and the gift of lateral prowess that comes with it, combine with Ildjarn‘s brute vehemence to build songs to a crescendo, sometimes with as many as three colluding voices. Fortunately, a premium is put on coherence and attack, eliminating most of the self-indulgence that made the preceding Conquest less than what it should have rightfully been.

 

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