Genre: Black Metal
1. The Poisonous Serpent
2. Opposed by the Nameless
Here we have a real treat. A new Black Metal band out of Belgium has formed and they are performing some truly great material. This was originally released as a digital version back in November, 2013, but a physical version eventually surfaced on cassette. For those who may not realize, the bands name stands for Leviathan, but it is written in the original Hebrew form with no vowels. The use of Hebrew is fairly common in the language of the occult, but a lot of Hebrew legends are drawn out of more ancient Semitic myths. The comes as a pro-printed booklet and a pro-printed tape limited to 100 hand-numbered copies, of which I own #15.
When I first ran into this project, I was immediately taken by the album cover. If your familiar with the art you'd find in books from the middle ages you'd also find this eye catching to a degree. The rest of the imagery throughout is very reminiscent of the old grimoires printed over the centuries. They really did the printing of this tape justice, the whole thing is white, even the cassette, which makes for a great physical piece to hold and look through. I do wish the booklet had more to it, such as lyrics to read, but this really is just a demo. Perhaps they will do a lot more for a full-length.
The demo opens with "The Poisonous Serpent" which starts with a really haunting guitar line. From the first few seconds you can tell this band has really nailed an excellent Black Metal atmosphere. A little over a minute into the track the hit upon a riff that is just so spectacular it makes me want to listen to the song over and over. LVThN really do generate a sort of ritualistic monotone atmosphere for this release. They are not a vicious Black Metal band that blasts their way through track after track, instead their sound enthralls the listener to get lost in their dense atmosphere. "Opposed by the Nameless" creates a more dissonant tension for the listener, but it is nonetheless of the same atmosphere. LVThN, to me, seems to draw their atmosphere from the more occult Swedish band, such as Ondskapt, Mortuus, etc. However, LVThN is indeed fairly different from those projects, but their atmosphere strikes me as similar. They also seem to draw elements out of the might Polish scene with some reminiscent aspects to Mgla. This really is a spectacular blend.
This is a superb demo. I really hope a full-length is imminent in the near future. I, and many others, will be watching this project. LVThN certainly play a mature and higher minded form of Black Metal. Each song is structured around a spectacular core riff that entices the listener to play the songs more than once. The only real downfall of this demo is that there are only two songs, there truly need to be more. The thing that I'm most worried about is that LVThN has set the bar quite high and my expectations on the full-length will be very critical. If they can meet this level of quality for nine tracks or so, I will be extremely impressed. This is a must hear new project.