"Beyond the Apocalypse" (Candlelight USA; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

For more than four months my review copy of 1349’s “Beyond The Apocalypse” has awaited my full attention, not for lack of desire, but rather as a victim of too many responsibilities throughout my crazy life. But finally I have an opportunity to work through 1349’s black metal mayhem.

1349 is a Norwegian band that excels in the genre that Norway is, and will probably forever be, ultimately known for – necro black metal. While I certainly prefer symphonic black metal I do not completely shun necro black metal. It is quite difficult for me to enjoy the necro style because I find myself too infrequently in the mood to listen to it. Actually, some of you might like to call it “true” black metal.

However, I can say that I am familiar enough with the style to know what I like and what I don’t like. And I like what I hear when 1349 spin and churn their chaotic, raw, and grim stormy sound. 1349 plays wickedly heavy and at a super-velocity pace nearly 90 percent of the time and it’s not that bad. However, when the band slows down it adds an icy chill to the proceedings that give the overall impact a bigger punch. The band stretches out the length of their songs more than the average necro black metal band – and to my ears that’s always a good thing so long as the band mixes the riffs enough and on that count 1349 succeed. The highlight of the disc in my opinion is “Internal Winter” – this track combines furious passages with well-thought out mid-paced parts and near-atmospheric musings.

1349 aren’t as good as Immortal, but I think Immortal will soon have some competition on their hands in the original black metal style in the years to come.

“Beyond The Apocalypse” was produced by 1349. The production values straddle the line between the raw underproduction favored by bands of this genre and the clearer production needed for anyone to make sense of the black metal maelstrom without too much effort.

1349: Ravn on vocals, Archaon and Tjalve on guitars, Seidemann on bass, and Frost (Satyricon) on drums.

For more information visit http://www.legion1349.com/ 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.