Originally written by Erik Thomas
I hit ‘play’ on my CD player and my headphones engulf my sense of hearing. As I lay in the hazy area between deep sleep and conscious awareness, my mind drifts. The ambien pill slowly disperses into my bloodstream and my thoughts swirl into oblivion. Then I feel tendrils of horror slithering up my spine, searching, feeling their way into my mind. My dreams are suddenly filled with vile and horrific creatures; unspeakable acts of torture and mutilation. Crawling shadows and disfigured shapes lurking in my subconscious slaver and grin with toothless tongue filled smiles. I’m vaguely aware that there is some music playing-it’s violent and extreme, but the atmosphere is stark, psychotic and intimately horrific.
And then my dog licks my hand and I piss myself.
Such is the experience with Leviathan’s latest mind altering Lovecraftian opus. The one man (Wrest) black metal project from the US, made a name for himself with last year’s The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide, and I was eager to check this out. When greeted with the mix of bleak black metal and dread inducing atmospherics, I’m actually mildly stunned that a single entity is responsible for such an otherworldly conjuration which is so sublimely disturbing and surreal.
At its gristly black heart, Leviathan is raw black metal with staccato buzzing guitars and very little bass, which by itself would never impress me. But when delivering the oft deconstructed and insanity filled riffs even I’m impressed. Add to that, the plethora of cold sweat inducing interludes and ambience that litters the album; the end result is a sonic trip into madness and lunacy.
The twisted vision that is Tentacles, is a nightmarish trip into realms of absolute despair that needs to be absorbed as a full entity with no other distractions. When absorbing the psychotic tones in the dark, the sense of dread is stunningly palatable. You can’t just skip from song to song, as essentially the album is one distorted sonic excursion into a fathomless pit. Shifts from cultic chanting and disturbing FX (“A Necessary Mutilation”) to a vortex of black metal extremity (“Vexed and Vomit Hexed”), are jarring transitions that will test your nerves. Tracks that include both (“Mouth Orifice Bizarre) (“Deciphering Legend with the Serpant’s Briar”), simply drag you into the very depths of aural depravity and blur your perception of music.
There is some straightforward black metal here (“What Fresh Hell”, “Cut, With the Night into Mine Heart”), but still, it’s laced with such a deep seeded strain of malevolence, it transcends the usual forced evil antics of many bands trying to be “kult”. You genuinely get the impression Wrest has been into the mouth of madness, and returned with a horrible gift.
Despite the expected raw black metal production, there is no other score I can give this. The 666 is the only viable option for such a deeply evocative and truly disturbing album. The stark production is perfectly suited to the overall sound. Any other sound would have given Whorror a gloss and removed its hideous ambience.
For me to enjoy an album so out of the realms of my usual listening zone, it must truly make and impression, and while I’m still not a huge raw black metal fan, there is just no denying the twisted creativity that is contained on this album. It truly has to be heard to be fulled appreciated. I will warn you though, headphones at night will get the full effect, but might also result in you knifing your spouse in a fit of hallucinogenic Whorror.
DO NOT close your eyes…