Home > Black Metal > Behexen/Satanic Warmaster EP Review

Behexen/Satanic Warmaster EP Review

Behexen/Satanic Warmaster EP

Behexen/Satanic Warmaster Split EP (Hammer of Hate, 2008)

Split EPs are a great idea theoretically. You throw your hard earned money down on them because you hope they contain an “A” side and a “B” side from both bands. In practice, though, few bands are willing to surrender their best – “A” – material for a release they are sharing with another aggregation so split EPs usually end up being the place where bands dump their leftovers, tracks that weren’t good enough to make their last album, or – worse – tracks that have been languishing in the vault for years and never should have been released to see the light of day. This problem cripples this EP in particular: It features the best of underground Finnish Black Metal and the worst of underground Finnish Black Metal all on one release.

Behexen hold up their end of the bargain. Formed in 1994, Behexen are one of the granddaddies of the Finnish Black Metal scene. 2008 was a busy year for the “Lords of the Left Hand,” as Behexen also like to be known as (whatever the hell that means); they released two Beelzebub-centric albums, “From the Devil’s Chalice” and “My Soul for His Glory,” in addition to this split EP with Satanic Warmaster.

The first song on the EP, “Mouth of Leviathan,” is a wild six-minute ride. It begins at a moderate pace featuring a hellaciously good riff at the 1:00 mark. For the rest of the song it switches between frantic thrash beats and the moderate pace and back again. It also features one of the craziest, most extreme vocal styles in all of Black Metal land. It is – all in all – one of the best Black Metal songs I’ve ever heard.

Behexen – “Mouth of Leviathan”


The other song, “Where the Devil Spoke,” is simply traditional, generic Black Metal. It isn’t bad – it just isn’t as innovative or as interesting as “Mouth of Leviathan.”

Behexen – “Where the Devil Spoke”


This brings us to Satanic Warmasters’ two songs, “Where Eternity Awaits” and “The Burning Eyes of the Werewolf.” Lauri Penttila – or “Satanic Tyrant Werewolf” to his mates and family – is the driving force behind Satanic Warmaster, a Black Metal band from southern Finland. “Werewolf” has been performing and “recording” using the band name Satanic Warmaster since 1999.

I put the word “recording” in quotes because the tracks on this EP sound terrible. They are poorly recorded and poorly mixed. The tracks were recorded between 2004-2007 on an “analog 4-track” and so they sound like they were recorded one afternoon after school in the damp recesses of Mr. and Mrs. Warmasters’ basement. The words “amateur recording” doesn’t begin to cover it.

“Where Eternity Awaits”


“The Burning Eyes of the Werewolf”


It is unfortunate that guitars and Werewolf’s slimy, constipated vocals dominate the mix because the drummer, VHolm, kills it within the very narrow confines of Black Metal drumming.

The song writing – the craft of putting a song together – is immature. Satanic Warmaster sound like British Oi band, Anti Social, with fizzy Black Metal guitars. The worst part – the “amateur hour” moment – comes during “Where Eternity Awaits” at 3:50 when the “spooky” keyboards come in and they can never quite get in tune with the guitar (and then they return in all their out of tune glory at 4:45).

The final verdict on Satanic Warmaster’s contribution to the split EP? Bands that say they follow Lucifer obviously never prosper because they can’t afford a decent recording studio session.

The good: Behexen songs – satisfying traditional Black Metal.

The bad and the ugly: Satanic Warmaster songs – low-fi recordings of low-rent songs.

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