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Beshenitar - Around The 13 Sins

Around The 13 Sins
by Daphne Minks Daly at 09 March 2021, 1:14 PM

What is immediately evident when listening to BESHENITAR's “Around the 13 Sins” is that Keyvan Khazayi is a genuinely talented musician. Hailing from Iran, Khazayi creates and performs every element of his music himself. From lyrics to vocals, drums to guitar, it all comes from his home studio.

Iran isn't a place without its problems. Considering the political structure and repressive religious policies, this dictatorship is undoubtedly a breeding ground for angst and rage. With a foundation of Islamic fundamentalism, the challenges that come with being a black metal musician in Iran are worth noting. For this is undoubtedly a difficult position to be in.

Knowing a bit about an artist's struggles and what is behind an album can often offer the listener a better context. It can also help convey the rationale for agitation and the desire for anarchic rebellion. BESHENITAR's 2018 release, "Rebellion in Solitude," is more of an atmospheric metal offering with a wealth of depressive black metal nuances. But, "Around the 13 Sins" leans more toward doom and speed metal than black metal. There is but one exception, the vocal effects are eerily reminiscent of classic early nineties black metal.

As the title foreshadows, the album is comprised of thirteen songs. With the average track roughly six minutes long, its total length is a little over an hour. Full of anti-religious sentiment, the lyrics boldly proclaim the artist's disdain for repression and stigmatization, leaving little doubt about his feelings on religious persecution. Depressive black metal is the sub-genre Keyvan Khazayi identifies this project with. Still, it leans more toward chaotic doom-influenced speed metal with overly-blown out-effected black metal vocals.

The first track, "Pervert 13," has somewhat of a typical depressive black metal intro. The song's beginning is intoxicatingly deep and then thunders in with unexpected fuzzed-out, growling vocals, and high-end guitar work. The music is overrun with change-ups and genre influences that make it challenging to catch-on to any particular one.

"Impure Intentions" is the fourth track and starts out by creating an ambiance reminiscent of a bitterly cold winter. Allowing enough time to become entranced, the atmosphere is quickly snatched away with thundering guitars that transport the listener further and further away from the place the song began. The song's key is an interesting choice and adds to the doom influence, while the vocals linger toward early black metal.

The most enjoyable track for this reviewer was the sixth track, titled "Parasites." Beginning with another nod to gloom-drone metal, the song appears to attempt a convergence with its black metal roots but ultimately ends up colliding. The song's mix and production are unusual, with a multitude of change-ups that make catching onto just one a challenge. The heavily-effected vocals lend themselves to original black metal artists of days gone by.

There a lot of repetition on the record, but the prolonged and dismal approach keep things interesting, as does the constant change-ups in tempo, tone, and use of effects. Although the sound is darker and often haunting, there is nothing really innovative. Even though it lacks originality, this is still an Iranian metal artist that deserves respect and recognition.

Songwriting:  2
Musicianship: 6
Memorability:  3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Pervert 13
2. Anomic Ritual
3. Spiritual Brothel
4. Impure Intentions
5. Immature Wizards
6. Parasites of Society
7. Beside the Old Tombs
8. From the Inferno's Station
9. The Chain of Superstitions
10. The End of Mullah's System
11. Democracy with Taste of Blood
12. Amid the Filthy Race of Humans
13. Inside the Mind of a Misanthrope
Keyvan Khazayi - Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 09 February 2023

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