Album Review: Bahimiron Rebel Hymns of Left Handed Terror

From the freezing and frost-bitten kingdom of… Texas… come Bahimiron, who, with song titles such as ‘Goathorned Messiah of the Seven Gates’ and ‘Bestial Raids of Antichrist Darkness’, are unashamedly and unmistakably a no-frills satanic black metal act. At close to ten years of raising merry hell in this particular department, Bahimiron have distilled their sound in to a fiery combination of crust and black metal, and the Texans rarely stray beyond this narrow path.

Having previously lit up the black metal underground with the outstanding full-lengths Southern Nihilizm and Pure Negativism, as well as a raft of splits and demo releases, Rebel Hymns of Left-Handed Terror comes with high expectations, but sadly falls just short. This is a record packed full of Bahimiron Rebel Hymns of Left Handed Terror Artworkexciting ideas, but too often it feels as if they are either strung together haphazardly or just repeated ad nauseam with no real purpose. A case in point is the closing section the aforementioned ‘Bestial Raids…’, in which a whole four minutes of ambient drone kills any momentum built up before this point, and effectively slices the record in two.

Despite this, Rebel Hymns… contains more than a few genuine moments of greatness. ‘The Death of Divinity’ is a fantastic two-part closer that would work brilliantly as an alternative soundtrack to the Doom game series, while the title track is a slow-burning epic that shifts between dissonant verses, ultra-fast black metal choruses and a rock riff that would not be out of place on a Tool record. Best of all, ideas are given space to build up and develop, rather than just be repeated constantly, making this track the real highlight of the record, if not their entire career.

This is a record that impresses in many areas, but is ultimately let down by song-writing. Bahimiron definitely have a sound to call their own, and they seamlessly mix black metal with crust, while throwing in a couple of Slayer-esque solos for good measure, but great riffs are overused or misused throughout, with damaging results. A little more care in the composition and arranging stage, as well as cutting many tracks by a minute or two, would have produced a record of enormously higher calibre. This would be a fantastic début release for any black metal band, but for a band that have previously set standards so high, and who have been together so long, Rebel Hymns… is not quite as impressive as it could and should be.


About Stuart

I have been writing for about seven years, my only writing qualification is a poorly-deserved grade C in GCSE English Language. I write mainly on music and literature, but have also written about the politics of sport, for some reason. I generally listen to horrible music, so my reviews will invariably be of black metal, grindcore or noise bands. Interests include attempting to play ice hockey, relieving Oxfam charity shops of every last book that they receive, and becoming TOP DOG in the world of Polish football spread-betting.

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