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Belial – The Gods Of The Pit Pt. II Award winner

The Gods Of The Pit Pt. II
by Quinten Serna at 04 February 2021, 3:51 PM

Lamentations of a baleful coexistence, The Gods Of The Pit Pt. II is a 28 year old EP from a band known in part as progenitors of the first wave of Finnish Death Metal, BELIAL. The EP itself was, during its initial life, an immediate successor to the band’s penultimate album, Never Again, having been released near a month after the LP, which was itself a partial reissue of the bands demo The Gods Of The Pit which was released years prior in 1991; following a , digital distribuition via Bandcamp in 2017 the EP is getting re-released once again, though this time as a limited edition CD.

The Invocation” commences the EP with a short and stuttered introduction by the instruments paired with a jarring and commanding vocal line, both of which burgeon unto a verse which isn’t content to stay at the same pacing for its progression. The sheer brutal aggression of the instruments pierce through the 30 year old track like a hot blade shattering a long since iced over soundscape. “Voices Beyond” succeeds immediately striking with a completely different manner of assault, a torrent of shifting grooves and relentless strings prey on the listener. “Deceased” has a somewhat slower tempo to it as the strings allow gritty and dour chords to ring out in lieu of hastened progressions; however, the aspect of a buildup and ominous approach is soon replaced by the more complacent and eager dissonance the track’s predecessors have as well yielded, a stern sound relentlessly driven into the listener’s attention. “For Them” is the second to last track and contains one of the more complex musical narratives on the EP constantly changing and evolving during the course of its 2 and a half minute progression, the slow and demented break is a striking change of course and showcases just how eerie and malignant the band could be. “Piece By Piece (Remix)” is just over half a minute of screeching vocals, blast beats, and high guitars separating it from the rest of the tracks both in compositional prowess and in genuine fidelity.

Perhaps the most amazing feature of the EP is the sheer modernity of its sound, with some tracks being quite literally 3 decades old the whole of the collection sounds that it was just recorded and released—the guitars give substance to the malignance that is BELIAL voicing the bands signature discord and distension; the bass is a booming torrent of unabated force, laying wastes to the foundations of every track and forcing each instrument to comply with its rugged and disdainful wake; the drums have about themselves a spacious sound without feeling booming or oversaturated, they sit within a particular niche that drives that sound of the strings without taking away from the full force of the band; and lastly the vocals are a gritty and melancholic energy, one that gives every track a jarring overtone which cements the gritty fortitude of Death Metal.

With nary a mention or nod of information to the band before this article I found myself beyond impressed with the band’s sound and drive, The Gods Of The Pit Pt. II is no long lost treasure given its history or re-releases and reissues—thanks to Moribund—but is nonetheless a great reminder of one of the bands that played a pivotal role in Finnish Death Metal, and a limited edition release is sure to grant great pleasure to a few lucky fans.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Invocation
2. Voices Beyond
3. Deceased
4. For Them
5. Piece By Piece (Remix)
Jani Lehtosaari – Bass
Reima Kellokoski – Drums
Jarno Anttila – Guitars
Jarno Koskinen – Vocals
Record Label: Moribund Records


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