Bihargam – Ove Tenebrae
There is little room for filler or ambiance with this Kentucky based group as they blast right out the gates with ‘The Inanimate Son’. Not really boasting anything that hasn’t been done with black metal before, the production is pretty crisp to hear everything and the vocals sound that just right shade of vile to stand out amongst the thousands of other shriekers out there. The drums are probably the most interesting of the bunch as they have lots of varied pace while the guitars and bass churn along with lots of tremolo picking moments and lots of melody in between.
Other tracks like ‘The Fool’ feel more like a black n’ roll track, and the addition of the demonic spoken word parts take it above the others for interesting notes. After this though it feels like the album falls into a little bit of a rut with tracks like ‘The Shadow Egg’ or the ‘Metallic Consciousness’ as they opt for the slower, creeping pace of more melodic black metal with faster sections inserted here and there, but the drums just go into overdrive and lose their varied beats which is what will catch listener attention the most on the first part of the album. ‘The Foul’ speeds things back up a bit but to most black metal fans who have heard the likes of Leviathan, Marduk, or even symphonic groups like Dimmu Borgir will probably shrug their shoulders a bit as these tracks sound a little bit much like the usual dime a dozen black metal pieces that are out there and move on.
Things get back into attention mode on the last 2 tracks which come out of nowhere with their instrumentation take and feels like a whole new band. ‘The Church of Industrial Saints’ features industrial beats which brings back memories of industrial black metal group Dodheimsgard, and the chugging black n roll pace of the music mixed with the more melodic guitar definitely makes it a stand out track to enjoy. ‘The Screaming Planet’ presents the longest track on the album, and full of tons of varied tones ranging from the haunting intro to the thunderous riffs, the hornet swarm of melodies, and overall just a fast but long black metal epic that should not be ignored. Bihargam goes all out here and while it doesn’t have the experimental touch of the previous track, it is an excellent example of how modern black metal can be without anything extra.
Overall, “Ove Tenebrae” continues the storm their debut did back in 2019, but with lots of similarities between the albums it feels like more of a part 2 than a separate piece altogether. Still, for new black metal enthusiasts who may be put off by some of the rawer acts out there, Bihargam is a great listen to dip one’s toes into the genre pool before venturing towards more difficult and bizarre acts.
3 / 5 STARS