Thursday, 17 July 2014

Album Review: BELTANE - Darkgodbeltane

(Satanica Productions)

Reviewed by: Dave Wolff
Posted on July 2014

I’ve been familiar with Beltane for quite some time, having corresponded with Xan and Baphgirl besides interviewing and reviewing them as editor of Autoeroticasphyxium. They are unique from their incorporation of goth and industrial influence into black metal and the way their albums boast a different sound with each release. What really sets Beltane apart is that they were the first black metal band to come from New Zealand (their original lineup got together in 1994) and are currently the only black metal band still actively recording and performing from the time they formed. Being pioneers of New Zealand black metal since the black metal revival took place in Scandinavia, naturally Beltane’s music is going to be deeply personal to them. Released in 2012, Darkgodbeltane sounds more raw and primal than I remember them; Satanica Productions states it reveals a darker side of the band. This is actually a two-disc release featuring an EP and a live show (recorded at a local club called The Royal in February 2012). Three of the four songs gracing the EP; “In Darkness Desolate,” “Dyrk 6.1.6” and The Dark God;” were recorded through the summer of 2011. The fourth, a cover of Bolt Thrower’s “Cenotaph,” was recorded in 2012. In the band’s original material, there are some elements of Norse black metal, with several time changes and distortion in the guitars and vocals that work well alongside one another. The drums and bass could have been mixed in with just a little more volume but this is a minor complaint considering the strength of the material. Satanica Productions’ Facebook page has a detailed year-by-year lists of their releases from 2011 to the present day

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