Journey Through The End Of Life
(Serpens Caput Productions)
Frankly - I must admit that I am strongly influenced by certain preconceptions regarding Black Metal - in particular, formations that claim to belong to a specific elite or so-called exalted communities that will dominate this planet some time in the future. Well - the band-sheet doesn't provide this kind of demand, but I bet BEATRIK boast of with similar platitudes... anyway, that is mere speculation... so let's stick to the music instead. Probably you expect the ultimate negation of this record now, don't you? I DO have my objections - yes, but on the whole, "Journey Through The End Of Life" has quite strong aspects... the production is cool I must say. I think it's just right for a Black Metal album which is supposed to sound raw and... primitive. The way the single instruments are integrated into the band's sound is minimalist, which is effective in this genre. I was pleased with the accuracy the instruments are recorded... there are lapses detectable here and there... but that actually conveys a certain charm. I like the musical attitude BEATRIK seem to have when it comes to composing music. They have reduced their songs to the essence... no superfluous ornaments. The guitars play surprisingly varying lines... partly even unconventional phrases (in 'Beatrik', for instance... there, the guitarist pulls the strings while allowing the dominant note to stay constant. This creates a strange harmony, which is great!). The vocals are frantic and kind of demented... obviously, BURZUM are influential role models to BEATRIK, which is a legitimate thing. Notwithstanding certain (Scandinavian) parallels I sense in BEATRIK's style, I think they have their own characteristics, which is positive, too. BUT - there are two aspects I want to criticise here: Firstly, the lyrics are a catastrophe. I suggest that F.G. Smara, the guy who's in charge of most of the compositions and lyrics, should take a couple of English courses before he tries to express his intellectual eruptions lyric-wise. I am sorry about this criticism, mate, but it's one thing just to sing / yel l/ bellow / ululate... whatever... your lyrics and no one understands a word - but it is another thing to put the lyrics on the information sheet because they seem to be a significant part of the music that is presented. Secondly, I must state that although the musical performance is solid and has its definite qualities that shouldn't be undervalued, the material presented here just lacks progression and this much-discussed element called individuality that helps you recognise a band. I am not totally unfamiliar with the Black Metal scene... but this output sounds like thousands. BEATRIK have good elements in their music, the production is exceptional, it's a pleasure that the album was recorded with great accuracy and precision... nevertheless, I miss the aforementioned individuality that makes a record worth being listened to...
F. Cthulhu E.