Perverted Ceremony’s Sabbat of Behezael was recorded on the same eight track recorder that the band recorded their demo on. It is definitely a lot more refined than the demo and perpetuates the ideas that they showed us a glimpse of in the demo. The sound isn’t really a far cry from the demo, with the only major change being the guitars, pushed to the forefront of the uncompromising assault that the band unleashes on the listener.
And the band does sound just like their name suggests, a perverted ceremony. The atmosphere throughout the album is similar to a dank room lit with candles, the only sound heard is that of hymns being chanted in unison. The buzzing guitars (strangely reminiscent of Canada’s Strappado ) take the center stage, as they guide you through the labyrinthian maze of their ritual chambers. Even thought the guitar is a tad bit loud in the mix, the tracks are still delightfully layered and convey the cavernous sound that the band are trying to create. The bass does not do anything too wild and plays the same notes just a few octaves below the guitars, further amplifying the buzzing riffs that bore into your head and explode during the high tempo parts. And then out of nowhere, hit the grimy wailing solos, like a whirlwind of razors slashing at you, which shift from chaotic eruptions to more technical and structured (especially in the doomy march of “Whips of Impurity”) as the album slows down. The vocals are a mix of high pitched whisper shrieks to lower demonic growls with a little reverb thrown in to give a sense of dread that lurks throughout the album. The faster parts are put together very well, with none of the tracks sounding similar to each other and will keep the listener captivated throughout with enough going on below the festering guitars to keep things interesting with even keyboard strings, organs and such thrown in the mix. But what steals the show are the ones that are mid to low tempo, with the solos there being even more piercing because of the drudging pace of all the other instruments.
Very small and otherwise frivolous details are what makes this album stand out from the countless other raw black metal albums and in the end, is a very rewarding listen. The band are heavily influenced by the likes of Demoncy, Mystifier, Von, Archgoat, Beherit but their sound and approach is most identical to Beherit. Although most of the songs aren’t very memorable and the riffs won’t stay with you for a very long time, the band accomplish what they set out to do, i.e. recreate the atmosphere of an evil ritual through an uncompromising aural assault. The best track for me would be a tossup between the haunting “Whips of Impurity” and the wonderful closer “Nightmare Consecration,” but the latter’s riff just completely rips and is the best track for my money.
Sabbat of Behezael is available now via Nuclear War Now! Productions.