BESATT, Hellstorm (2001, Seven Gates of Hell)
Man, what a mess. It’s like someone decided to make a montage cover using only photos of magazine prints of bootleg pressings of eastern European records from the 70s. And maybe a denture ad. There are actually two versions of this cover. There’s this one, which I presume is the original, then another where all this is faded to near invisibility and pasted into some generic lightning photo. Though that might better communicate the “storm” aspect of the title, this better captures the “Hell,” and anyway, here the skull is bigger and so much dumber. Just so fucking dumb.
It seems like it’s been a while since I was assigned a straight-up black metal album. I still don’t like it. Besatt are boring as all fuck, although I guess they’re relatively competent as these bands go. They’re kinda like Gorgoroth, I guess. Maybe old Satyricon. When you think about it, if you’re playing “traditional” black metal, you’re ripping off one of, like, five bands, and you’re going to suck in the same way they did. Your guitars will be murky, your vocals screechy, your keyboards paddy. Your drummer will record the entire album with only three beats and two fills. If your songs are in English, then they’ll have titles like “Baphomet,” “Funeral Wind,” “For the Glory of Satan,” “Gates of Hell,” etc. The only difference is that you won’t be the first to suck the way you do, but the MILLIONTH. Seriously, there are a metric fuckton of bands like this, and the world doesn’t need more. But so what? You’re in a shitty band, or maybe you just love shitty bands. Maybe you also love Marmite, Full House, and the films of Uwe Boll. Just keep that crap to yourself, and we can still be friends.
— Friar Johnsen