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Bethlehem - Mein Weg (CD)

Mein Weg
by Evi Tsitsi at 11 November 2004, 5:37 AM

The cover artwork of this album had prepared me for what I was going to hear. Finally I accredit that I was right. During the review, Bethlehem made me recollect my past childhood memories and they transported me into a sweet melancholy. I believe that the weather, here in Greece now, is suitable for hearing such melodies. So if you want a romantic and emotional moment together with Black and dark Metal, just listen to this album.
Bartsch and Matton (both previously with the group Dark Tempest) formed Bethlehem in late 1991 in a more Death Metal direction than their previous act. After several line-up changes the group released its debut album,  Dark Metal in 1994. Classen then joined Paragon Belial for the Hordes Of The Dark album and later reunited with Bethlehem drummer Rolf to forge Dark Creation. He would also surface as guest lead vocalist for Swedish Black Metal band Shining on their Within Deep Dark Chambers album. Bethlehem is not by any chance a melancholic group. The pair both had suffered from early tragic suicides of family members with Bartsch's girlfriend and aunt hanging themselves and Matton's father doing likewise.
Bethlehem's fifth album, Mein Weg, has melancholic melodies, as I mentioned before. It also has romantic moments, Heavy Metal riffs, a lot of Black Metal bursts and Doom lamentations. The vocals have a deeply heavy German pronunciation which adds a more darkness to the already dark atmosphere. The third song, Knochenkorn (which is my favourite), has pure evidence of hard technical industrial sounds.Felbel Fittich reminds me of Enter Sadman (Metallica). Maschinensatan is a really passionate Doom song which I also adore. In the end of this album awaits a surprise for you. It's a revision of Frank Sinatra's My Way. This song is for sure unrelated to the whole album, but it's also melancholic. Unfortunately I don't know which one of the two vocalists sings this revision, but I must say that whoever it is, he has an excellent voice and many capabilities for singing such songs.
Summary: Bethlehem must be influenced by Dark Metal groups like Tiamat and Katatonia and also by the gothic-hard-industrial scene. I put Mein Weg in my favorite dark albums.
- Album Highlights:  Knochenkorn, Maschinensatan and the revision of Frank Sinatra's My Way.

4 Star Rating

Felbel Fittich
Elf Soffitten
Im Sog
Bonus Track: My Way (Frank Sinatra cover)
Classen - Vocals
Matton - Guitar
Bartsch - Vocals & Bass
Record Label: Red Stream Records


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