Author: Jan Jakobsen
Label: Season of Mist
Revenge is the gift that keeps on giving. After fifteen years of writing and playing some of the most bestial and aggressive black metal out there, Revenge still manages to up the extremity on Behold.Total.Rejection. James Read and Vermin are the two men behind all the music, and James Read in particular is somewhat of a legend in the War Metal scene considering his work with Conqueror in addition to Revenge. With War Metal, or Bestial Black Metal as it’s also called, many bands often fall into the mistake of simply plagiarizing or mimicking Blasphemy, and of course Revenge takes a lot of influence from them, but they have managed to find their own identity and sound.
Behold.Total.Rejection follows much in the same vein as previous releases; there are no interludes or breaks of any sort here, just 40 minutes of extreme aggression and chaos. The vocals are varied, shifting between an insanely deep growl and fast paced growling. What maybe leaves most of an impression is the drumming though. It so incredibly punishing, every beat feels like a kick to the face and a punch in the ribs. The crazy thing though is that while managing to sound like a fucking freight train there are also some very catchy beats, mainly on the tracks Silent Enemy, Scum Defection (Outsider Neutralized) and Nihilist Militant (Total Rejection). These tracks are also those that stands out the most for me in terms of overall songwriting. The drums simply elevate those songs and the whole album to another level.
As with the rest of the album, the riffs are chaotic and eviscerating for almost the entire 40-minute playtime, there are a couple of groovy riffs every now and then, with Mobilization Rites being the best example of this. At the four-minute mark there’s a groovy doom riff in the midst of the sonic warfare going on that really helps in breaking up the monotony.
If there’s one thing Behold.Total.Rejection has, it’s replay value. Even though it’s a somewhat difficult album for the uninitiated to really get, the satisfaction you get when it clicks is massive and the need to click replay over and over is definitely there. The 40 minutes fly by in what seems like mere minutes even though the sound is generally really hard on the ears.
I think I would go as far as to say that Behold.Total.Rejection is my favorite Revenge album and it’s definitely in my top 10 of the year so far. Extremely solid from start to finish, no fillers, no bullshit.
- Jan Jakobsen