Left alone without his untrustworthy band members, Nuclear Holocausto of Bloody Vengeance (catchier real name Marko Laiho, but don't tell anyone) elected to go the way of many of his black metal contemporaries and continue Beherit as a one-man band with a new, ambient-based direction compensating for the lack of a full band with synthesised instruments that sound just as convincing... right? Although he would make a surprisingly successful comeback with the follow-up album, 'H418ov21.C' is a real stinker, and possibly one of the worst albums I've ever heard in both an aural and compositional sense. Say what you will about Beherit (there is much to be said), but their discography certainly leaves a lasting impression, for better or worse. Worse, mainly.
The theme here seems to be ritual music, working along similar lines to Count Grishnackh's hypnotic trance pieces in Burzum, but the result is infinitely inferior. The only real positive aspect of the album comes in its variety, which is a real surprise considering how repetitive earlier Beherit releases have been, but nothing is any good. 'The Gate of Inanna' and 'Paradise (Part II)' are both led by distractingly false-sounding electronic drum beats and bad keyboard melodies with Nuclear Holocausto's nasal tones over the top and the occasional, stifled growl, and are kept from being truly ambient by the prominent rhythm section. 'Tribal Death' is an initially more interesting, vocal-led piece, with whispers and what sounds like a yodel providing the backing atmosphere, and the return of the tribal instruments after the previous album's 'Summerlands' makes this perhaps the most interesting offering here, even though it's still overlong and overdull.
Despite its rather pompous title, 'Emotional Ecstasy' is a really bland attempt at something heavenly, driven by over-polished keyboards melodies that would have sounded embarrassing even in the early eighties, and the rest of the album after this point attempts a more atmospheric and repetitive sound, perhaps under the pretence of lulling the listener more deeply into the trance that none of them will have achieved, and lacking any kind of atmosphere whatsoever. 'Fish' is by far the worst of the lot, beginning with a chiming bell that resurfaces in 'Mystik Force,' but giving over its final minutes to a single repeated tap of the electronic drum accompanied by nothing. It's the most tedious thing I've ever heard.
Anyone who enjoys the atmospheric ambience of ex-black metal artists like Burzum and (first-era) Mortiis will have good reason to laugh in this album's incomprehensibly titled face. It's completely terrible, attractive to no kind of audience whatsoever.
1. The Gate of Inanna
2. Tribal Death
3. Emotional Ecstasy
5. 21st Century
6. Paradise (Part II)
7. Mystik Force
8. Spirit of the God of Fire
1. The Gate Of Inanna / 2. Tribal Death / 3. Emotional Ecstasy / 4. Fish / 5. 21st Century / 6. Paradise (Part II) / 7. Mystik Force / 8. Spirit Of The God Of Fire / 9. E-scape