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Bethlehem: Sardonischer Untergang im Zeichen irreligioser Darbietung

Man. I've listened to this I don't know how many times and I still can't decide what to make of it.

Musically Bethlehem temper their performance standard black metal with a bizarre assortment of male/female voicings. The vocals are the primary problems, as some of the screeching (particularly on track 2, "Du sollst dich toten") are so ludicrously overdone it's not only hard to take seriously, but downright embarrassing to listen to. Nonetheless there are too many musically valid ideas floating around to warrant an unconditional dismissal.

I couldn't say what the band are about, since the lyrics are entirely in German. It's entirely possible the English translations are included in the CD booklet, but I wouldn't know, since Red Stream not only sent me a red photocopied cover, but felt the need to taunt me with the warning "'Official' version includes 20 page booklet" on the back. Nice. I did get a postcard with the band members (six if you include the pictured chair) and I have to admit I'm quite frightened of them. There's even a guy with a shirt and tie, clean shaven, who looks like the guitarist from Sonic Youth. Yikes!

Getting back to the music, I could tell you about the killer solo in "Gestern starb ich schon Neute" or the incomprehensible intro to "Teufelverruckt Gottdreizehn", but I doubt it would shed much light on the band's vision (and besides, if you're like me all these long German titles give you a kinder-headache). You may want to look into it if you're after something really out there, speak German, or have a soft spot for self-torture. A combination of all three may prove best.

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
Hits: 2800
Language: english

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