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Bekmork - Incantations of the Frigid North

Bekmork
Incantations of the Frigid North
by Jack Harding at 19 June 2019, 9:13 AM

Vast, frigid mountains, stretching out into the distance. A bitter chill biting at the face of any unlucky traveler. These rocky, and ill-defined paths that trace an outline through the barren hellscape lead on eternal. A still, lone moon casts an unnerving, and all consuming, blue light upon this harsh landscape, bathing all who venture in a bewitching and melancholic glow. These are the images BEKMORK set out to paint within your mind’s eye. The image actually formed however, is more akin to an overly caffeinated toddler running around screaming their head off, whilst covered in messy streaks of black and white face paint, and occasionally hitting a dustbin lid. A much less engaging image, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Starting the EP, with generic “spooky” noises ripped straight from a VHS copy of any low budget vampire movie, “Six Daggers, One Axe” attempts and outright fails to summon any interest. From these cliched sound effects into seemingly pointless tremolo picked guitars and blast beats, not a single ounce of creativity has been used here. Each Black Metal cliche is adhered to as if they were being ticked off on a checklist. Nothing new is brought to the table here, except an outstanding attempt at the world record for the quickest time at boring somebody to literal tears.

With every review I write I try to include at least one positive. This was a herculean task with this particular review, but I believe I may have managed it. Track 2, “The Bells Of Klippe Hule (Summon Forth The Mighty Wakon)” starts with some slow riffing, eerily reminiscent of something BLACK SABBATH might have messed around with at one point. However, this good will is quickly dashed with a descent into more generic Black Metal. It was with this particular track that I started to wonder if I was missing something. Am I missing a joke? Every single decision on this record feels like someone mocking the genre, yet for some reason it is presented as this straight faced, and -unhumorous thing. If I didn’t know better, I’d even suggest that BEKMORK themselves don’t even like the genre! Hilariously pitchy and uncommitted clean vocals in “The Bells Of Klippe Hule (Summon Forth The Mighty Wakon)” and “When Loki Calls” completely decimate any sense of atmosphere, as if on purpose.

Production all around is a serious issue to be honest. Each song sounds as if it was recorded in a different bedroom to the last, creating a very jarring flow, killing any and all cohesion. As well as this, there are tracks with awful mixing, with sound effects drowning out everything or overwhelming the listener with bass. On “The Creed Of The Nihilist (Alt Er Ingenting),” the bass is so loud compared to everything else, that you can only really hear it. This actually leads to the track sounding strangely happy and child-like, as if it could genuinely be released by THE WIGGLES if you replaced the distorted guitars.

This EP may only be 19 minutes long, but that is 19 minutes of my life that I will never get back. I suffered here so you don’t have to. I’m personally sorry to  if this review comes across as being too harsh, but I’m afraid a release like this deserves nothing less. Avoid this like the plague.

Songwriting: 2
Originality: 1
Memorability: 1
Production: 1

0 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Six Daggers, One Axe
2. The Bells Of Klippe Hule (Summon Forth The Mighty Wakon)
3. Of Hoof And Horn And Blood
4. The Creed Of The Nihilist (Alt Er Ingenting)
5. When Loki Calls
Lineup:
Dread Count Naberius - Vocals, Guitar, Bass Guitar and Keyboards
Malevolent Berserker - Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar and Keyboards 
Record Label: Independent
     


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