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Brewing deep in the New Zealand underground are bands such as Ulcerate, Diocletian and Witchrist, biding their time and waiting for an opportunity to have mankind experience their wrath. Beheaded Ouroboros is Witchrist’s debut full length output, and promises 40 minutes of solid, primitive death metal. If one were a fan of dirty and primitive bands, with a dark atmosphere such as Vasaeleth, Impetuous Ritual and of course, Diocletian, the fare that is presented on Beheaded Ourorobos will immediately be familiar. The band pushes themselves (and their listeners) to the extreme, opening with the longest track on the album Sorcerer of Lightning, with a slow build up to the climax and drenching the music with a dense atmosphere that almost makes it hard to breathe. If you thought Impetuous Ritual was heavy, wait till you listen to Beheaded Ouroboros. Just imagine the works of the aforementioned band, put to a slightly slower pace (even on the faster sections of the album), with the same down-tuned instruments, but with a muddier/heavier production job. Session vocalist Imprecator’s vocals are tortured as fuck, and he alternates between undecipherable gurgling growls and blood curdling shrieks, fitting, and at times even going so far as to enforce the demented and ritualistic atmosphere of the music well. Getting past the opening track, the rest of the album becomes easier to appreciate (especially for listeners who are not used to something this raw and bestial). Devour the Flesh skips the slow build up, and instead sees the band opting to just throw everything out at the listener without any reserve, and this is of course something welcome for speed maniacs. As per most other similarly styled bands, there are chaotic and seemingly senseless guitar solos included, sounding almost as if the notes are picked out of random. Adoration of Black Messiah also sees the band include some ethnic instruments, though these serve to be there just so that the band can desecrate them later, and of course, how could the usual tolling of the bells be forgotten? With Beheaded Ouroboros, Witchrist has exemplified the utter insanity that they are able to come up with. Suffice to say, this record has managed to put their country on the international extreme metal map, and ensures that no sane man is left standing at the end of the record.
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