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Review: Leviathan - The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide
The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide

Label: Moribund Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 71:03
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: August 29, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.42/5 (68.48%) (33 Votes)

I think it's fair to say I was drawn to this band (and this album in particular) by the super-cool artwork of this rather freakish creation, and as it has had a bit of press in the past I won't go into the particulars of what makes this such a notorious release, though suffice to say main man Wrest has a lot to answer for. Dreamt up in all its black horror, Leviathan is the sole construction of a bleak soul who handles everything here from the music and vocals to the artwork and logo design. I won't lie and say this isn't the most underground CD I own, but I think one listen to it is enough to scare off a poser of even the lowest degree. Still, as far as Black Metal art goes, this fucker comes pretty close to hanging in the same haunted gallery as A Blaze In The Northern Sky and Storm Of The Night's Bane.

As you can probably tell by the black and white cover, this is Black Metal of the coldest, grimmest order. Dimmu fans had better skip to the next review, because there isn't anything even close to melody on this thing. Every dark corner is drenched in sick, discordant harmony, black washes of color that relentlessly pummel your senses and make you beg for mercy. The guitars are an icy buzz, the drums hammer with the malice of a murderer's hammer, and the vocals, well, they are just about the scariest shit I've ever heard. This guy sounds like he is seriously in pain, and the way he manages to pull off those screams of grief-stricken, demented torture is so chilling you will have to check your underwear. Things could get messy.

There aren't many reference points here, as this is Black Metal perverted to its darkest, most dreadful form, but early Burzum certainly plays a part in painting the primitive, nocturnal soundscapes (there are a few riffs that could have been on Burzum's self-titled debut). I can't begin to describe how haunting some parts of The Tenth Sub Level Of Suicide are; there is something gravely wrong with this guy if this is how he spends his time. The one thing about this that haunts me most is that it sounds dangerous; with songs like "Fucking Your Soul In Chains Of Ice" and "He Whom Shadows Move Towards" you can hear the sounds of a hazardous individual at work. This music was made for more than shock value; there is an unsafe richness to it that fills your head with visions so real and frightening that there has to be some intellect behind it.

Saying that, I think those who have a fleeting interest in Black Metal (particularly that of the early second wave) will find it difficult to like this at first. But there is a dark beauty to the debut in places. You just might have the sudden urge to kill yourself after discovering it.

More about Leviathan...
Review: Tentacles of Whorror (reviewed by Ktb)
Interview with Wrest on April 8, 2004 (Interviewed by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale))
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