BESATT - Hail Lucifer (UNDERCOVER - CD 1999)
I must honestly admit that I am not a big fan of Besatt. This band somehow annoys me a little, for few reasons like not always the best music (which on most of their albums is just boring or mediocre for me) or often ridiculous imagery (oh, that video they did... shit!). I know that such statement can be a bullshit to some die hard black metal maniacs, but I don’t care. This is just what I feel. Besatt is not a band for me. This is also a reason why from their vast discography I have in my collection only one album with the Besatt logo on it. It is their second full length CD “Hail Lucifer”, released back in 1999. This is actually the material, which introduced me to this band, when they sent me a promo copy of it 15 years ago. I remember that I liked it quite a lot back in those days… and well, when I listen to it nowadays I also must admit that surprisingly I still like this album a lot and from all Besatt materials, which I have heard, this is the only one which I really, really like.
The songs on “Hail Lucifer” are classic, straight forward, rough, evil and sinister black metal. Besatt definitely captured the right atmosphere and essence of the music, but did so playing it in their own way, with their own style, sound and feeling. Really, even if someone will compare “Hail Lucifer” to the Norwegian black metal or whatever, it is undeniable that the music on this album simply sounds original. These riffs are very characteristic, so are the song structures and arrangements, of the vocals especially… And when taking everything and putting these things together you receive a pure black metal record, but with a unique sound and style. And speaking of the production, I like it a lot. It is harsh and you can really smell the sulphur here, but at the same time the whole album sounds clean, each instrument is powerful and strong… the drums are great, it is also fantastic that the bass is so loud and audible. It brings something extra to the whole music, something what almost reminds me Necromantia, even if the riffing style in both bands is rather different.
So, we have powerful, rough production, but the songs are also excellent. It is quite simple music, but not in the primitive meaning. There are many furiously fast and violent songs, where the tempo is just neckbreaking and such moments are something what the maniacs will love. At the same time this album is filled with some more melodic moments, some which are even epic... and that diversity is fantastic! Sure, the album is hateful, is sadistic and vicious, every song prays Satan and his legions, but Besatt didn’t forget to compose great and memorable songs. You’ll be surprised how almost catchy these songs are, even when the band plays so furiously. Songs like “Antichrist”, “Black Banner”, “Hail Lucifer”, “Mad Minds” and the excellent “War” (which is basically a total black metal instrumental with the sounds of battle – swords, axes, horses, warriors, etc – in the background... great idea, great effect!). So, really… as much as I am not a fan of some other Besatt albums, this is the one, which I like a lot. And if I was going to recommend you any album of this Polish band, then look no further but here. “Hail Lucifer”!
Standout tracks: “Antichrist”, “Black Banner”, “Hail Lucifer”, “Mad Minds”, “War”
Final rate: 85/100