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Bethledeign – Iconography of Suffering Award winner

Iconography of Suffering
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 17 December 2019, 9:27 PM

BETHLEDEIGN have had a few name changes down the line. They started life off back in 2001 as XAOC. Under this name, they released an EP: An Iliad of Woes and Demo: Demo 2005 in 2003 and 2005 respectively. In 2006, the band recorded but never released an album titled "Iconography of Suffering". Between 2010 and 2016, they change the name to CONSTRVCT OF LETHE. In 2016, they changed the spelling to CONSTRUCT OF LETHE. Then in 2019 go by BETHLEDEIGN. So as many releases as band names. The band member section is even stranger, try to keep up. "An Iliad of Woes" had the following in the band: Azalroff aka Dan Lazaroff on Guitars, Ed Johnson on Bass, Ron Sirott on the Drums, Phil King also on Guitars and Jon Avila as Vocalist. The 2005 Demo had just Azalroff aka Dan Lazaroff on Guitars, Ron Sirott on the Drums and new vocalist Dave Schmidt. Schmidt and current band member Tony Petrocelly worked on material for several years with David drumming, singing, and Tony on guitar and bass. The unreleased album was being re-recorded as the band CONSTRUCT OF LETHE and was released in 2016. Therefore, now there are 3 guys that have not played together before and yet have released the album, no I don’t get how it worked either.

Domain” does not allow an intro to ease you in. The tempo and melodies are in the high gears from the off. The vocals kick in and already you can feel the aggression matching the instrumental paces.  The tempo has set its own levels, in doing so, the melodies are building. This style of Blackened Death Metal really works for these guys. They have their own sound and are showing us their talent in full. “Invoking the Apostasy” has the Death Metal vibes that we have heard from many bands before, only thing is, this sound is their own, sure we may have heard other bands doing it, but BETHLEDEIGN throw a few different styles in here and there to make it their own. It does remind me of CATTLE DECAPITATION with a few more drops of Thrash guitar play added in small doses. Although it is not a long song, we do get a few decent changes, from your more Death Metal start to a Thrash / Death bridge taking us into the second half, with a more Blackened Death approach. One sound cannot contain these guys

Opens-Eviscerates” has the Thrash elements running wild in the opener of this song. The Death Metal vocals are easily heard, they are not the clearest vocals, but not just there in the background grumbling on. The guitar work on this song is fantastic; it adds a real depth to the song. This song also has its own different sound to the two previous, but stays within the group sound; this makes the album feel fresh but not just mixing sounds for the sake of it. “Eight Pointed Star” is another new sound for the album, featuring Blackened Death mixed with Death Thrash. The balance is amazing, how they keep it all together and still feel like its ripping the sound to pieces.  It is almost BOLT THROWER but it is not at the same time. It is BETHLEDEIGN. The pace is phenomenal; the control is amazing. The talent is really a gift to us all. The raw vocals take the song to a controlled depth, then the clean cut guitars run wild, it is amazing how this works, the riffs in this song take the song from an 8/10 to a 10/10. The riffs make the difference, the song would have been fine without them, but thank fuck the riffs were put in.

Iconography of Suffering” it's back to more of the Death Metal start, but it's another new sound to greet us. The song has a fantastic tempo and beat, never relenting. The guitar builds up in here could be from any Death Metal band in their prime, it is that good. The balance of the song is held together so well, you think by this point in the album that they can’t keep pulling tricks out of the bag, can’t keep adding new depths, but they do. “The Lament Configuartion” is another headbanging starter. The styles that we have already heard in this album are here in full flow, executed to perfection. The melodies are flowing beautifully. The level of talent is off the charts; the balance is amazing. It’s a song that doesn’t hold back and you don’t want it to end, the instrumental play is a mix of the best we’ve heard so far, easily a crowd pleaser.

Besieged By Night” just keeps going from where “The Lament Configuartion” left us, good move. Another song that will gets banging and feet tapping with flawless ease. The vocals are and have never in this album been, in your face, but they are certainly not in the background. The control shown by the band to allow all aspects to be heard and appreciated is brilliant. “Prey for Oblivion” I the last song, which not many people will be happy to know, they, and myself do not want this to end. The start is a mix of sound with some Thrash, Death and Blackened Death jamming together to create a sound that is once again different to the other songs as a start. It is a good start to an ending of an album. The melodies are being built up from the off and have no limit to their powers. The song is not a long one, so it is a flurry of sound and it is executed perfectly, no fading out, just full throttle like the album itself.

This is an album you do not want to end, so many styles executed to perfection. A fantastic blend of styles.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Domain
2. Invoking the Apostasy
3. Opens-Eviscerates
4. Eight Pointed Star
5. Iconography of Suffering
6. The Lament Configuartion
7. Besieged By Night
8. Prey for Oblivion
Tony Petrocelly – Vocals, Guitars & Bass Guitar
Gus Barr – Guitars
Giulio Galati – Drums
Record Label: Edgewood Arsenal Records


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