At the Devil’s Studio 1990

Hell’s Headbangers

If cult status was directly proportional with monetary earnings, Finnish Black Metal pioneers Beherit would be so fucking filthy rich that they’d be making it reign in metal clubs the world over. It’s never the case, and, hell, Beherit probably wouldn’t enjoy it anyway.

Here’s the story so far. In the early ’90s, a group of Finnish metal lifers donned rudimentary corpse paint and set about making an unholy racket that laid down the template for black metal with a handful of cold, sacrilegious songs that were beyond raw and primitive, almost just a speaker-ripping smear of occult noise that barely held itself together into songs. Label JL America hurriedly compiled some early singles and demos, and much to Beherit’s dismay, as they’d never actually approved half of the songs for release, a classic of the genre was born: The Oath of the Black Blood.

Later Beherit albums were more assured and controlled — relatively — which, naturally, led hardcore Black Metal fiends to wonder, “Hey, if The Oath of the Black Blood is such a perfect mess, I wonder what demo recordings made even BEFORE THAT sound like?” Wonder no further. From the darkest recesses of obsessive traders’ collections comes a proper (re)issue of Live at the Devil’s Studio 1990, some of the earliest rehearsal recordings that a young Beherit ever made. And it’s a fucking revelation. It sounds so alien and wrong and outside the bounds of reason that most people just won’t be able to handle its musicality. Too fucking bad. Live at the Devil’s Studio is ten tracks worth of black metal birthing pains that sound like a tiger chasing a thrash metal band (that can’t play) in circles around a tiny Peavey amplifier. And if that doesn’t appeal to you…. you just don’t know music’s secret joys.

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