"Deimos XIII" (Firebox; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


Woods Of Belial, purveyors of their own self-styled suicide doom metal, have suffered greatly over the past few years in their attempts to get their music released. However, Firebox Records has saved the day with the release of "Deimos XIII" and have ended nearly five years of silence from Woods Of Belial.

"Deimos XIII" is an elemental, subtle industrialized doom style with haunting undertones and an insistent tone that conjures the kind of response from the listener that black metal should do. "Deimos XIII" has a way of being noisy without being overbearing -- the constant propulsion of Woods Of Belial has a way of forcing the listener into the band's spell without being overwrought. Woods Of Belial don't use their music as a sledgehammer, but rather more like Chinese water torture in that it persistently pushes the listener into a different kind of headspace -- unsettling headspace, mind you. Also, black metal, in its raw and modern forms, is an important part of Woods Of Belial's sound; "The 13th Horror" makes that perfectly clear.

There is a market for this kind of industrialized black doom metal; unfortunately I'm not in that demographic. "Deimos XIII" has a certain eerie feel to it that might actually fit my mood on occasion. Also, it's the kind of music that Glenn Danzig is capable of, but for whatever reason, hasn't attempted yet or didn't let evolve from his Samhain days. While "Deimos XIII" did not catch my ear, there is no denying its creative force.

"Deimos XIII" was produced by Woods Of Belial. The production is clear as it needs to be, but obviously has a bit of the harsh, under-produced style made so famous by the original phalanx of raw black metal bands. Deliberately enough, the album's artwork in black, gray, and white tones suits the album quite well.

Clearly, "Deimos XIII" is lovingly crafted and has been finally birthed upon an unsuspecting public. The limited audience that "Deimos XIII" appeals to would be wise to actively seek this album out as soon as possible.

Woods Of Belial: Wohi on vocals, Blood on guitars, bass, and drums. Horned Black joins in on synthesizers and other organic noises.

For more information visit http://www.firebox.fi/records/bands_woods_of_belial.html

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.
Revised: 27 May 2024 14:00:22 -0400.