Bekëth Nexëhmü - De Fornas Likgaldrar (Forna Nordiska Besvärjelser Omfamnat i Tre Kapitel) DCD
One of the most imposing and revered bands in black metal's underground for the past decade, BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ have built a literally towering body of work. The band is yet another creative vehicle of Ancient Records linchpin Swartadauþuz (Azelisassath, Digerdöden, Gnipahålan, Musmahhu, Mystik, Summum, Trolldom, Daudadagr, as well as current labelmates GREVE and MUVITIUM), but it's largely BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ where the man has most built his legacy. Only two official albums have been released - 2011's de dunkla herrarna and 2019's De fördolda klangorna - but it's the band's myriad demos, each one arguably greater and grander than most band's actual albums, that have equally put a frightening new(er) face on Swedish black metal, by turns becoming the nowadays face of the form.
A relative period of quiet lingered for two years prior to that aforementioned second album, but when BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ did return, it was with a monolith that topped two hours in playing time. Another period of quiet resumed following De fördolda klangorna, but for good reason: De Fornas Likgaldrar is yet another two-hour monolith, a true double-album. Thankfully, no great changes have been made to the enduring BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ aesthetic - spiraling melodicism smothered in blizzards of fuzz, acute layering of instruments within an authentically raw soundscape, and absolutely EPIC and engrossing songwriting that's stultifying and transcendental in equal measure - but the seven component tracks spread across both albums go even greater lengths (LITERALLY) to draw the listener deeper and deeper into forgotten realms. In fact, the two "shortest" tracks here on De Fornas Likgaldrar are a tidy nine and ten minutes each, on the five-song Disc 1, where speed gives way to swell, blazing icicles transformed into bountiful tundra. Then, on Disc 2, the mysticism is stretched to infinity with three double-digit tracks - from 17 minutes to nearly 23 minutes - that begins with a bang and then shimmers sumptuously toward a twilit dream-world no less nightmarish to comprehend. But, as much as such lengths seem like bloat on paper, in reality, they are utterly immersive journeys which both uphold and expand the black metal imagination, the artform's latent ability to go beyond mere "music" and instead offer a gateway into the vast beyond. And for BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ, there is no Beyond quite like theirs... Creation. Catharsis. Destruction. Ad infinitum.
No more words needed. BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ are releasing a new double-album. You already know whether this is mandatory.
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