Thou Shalt Suffer @ Into the Woods of Belial Review

Thou Shalt Suffer
Into the Woods of Belial
Nocturnal Art Productions
2004

What we have here is a re-release of an older Nocturnal Art Production’s title, formerly available since 1997 from one of Samoth’s earliest musical missions. For those who aren’t aware of Thou Shalt Suffer’s background, you should be familiar with the fact that the band was firstly called Dark Device, then Xerasia for a short time and earlier than the last name, Embryonic. Not only formed by himself on rhythm guitar, the group also featured Ihsahn (formerly Ygg) on vocals, lead guitar and synth, Ildjarn on bass and Thorbjørn on drums (currently managing the famous Akkerhaugen Lydstudio). On the other hand, Thorbjørn would change to bass for the recordings of an EP and a certain Ronny would fill his position on battery on said session; still, there’ll be more explanation about this in the following lines.
Into the Woods of Belial isn’t merely the name of this anthology, but also the title of Thou Shalt Suffer’s earliest and single demo ever (originally released in 1991). Its contents vary from the opener’s original demo recording, passing through the addition of the rare Open the Mysteries of Your Creation EP (the foremost official band’s discharge), to one full run through demo session (an interesting tip is that both recordings diverge by no more than one title, hence the insertion of this rehearsal to end the record).
Musically speaking (and excluding some evident off-putting details when compared to how things are done in this day and age), the music’s still suitable and attention-grabbing, even if banal after a while. Regardless of the obvious Death Metal leaning in sound and the imperceptible, almost exasperating vocals throughout its length, there’s still a distinctive feature in it: the atmosphere aroused by the keyboard, which provides a more sinister and growing fluidity to the entire blast (a certain link to Darkthrone’s Soulside Journey wouldn’t be wide of the mark here). One curious point to those who value fresh spiciness in an old cooking is that this material was mastered at Strype Audio, by Vargnatt Inc.
To call it quits, there’s not actually much left to say about this one; unless I get fussy and point out that this is purely the same record as the other one Samoth launched seven years ago, but just with a renewed artwork. And let’s not overlook that this time the American market can also count with its availability.

Nocturnal Art Productions

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