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Beyond The Veil

Spain Country of Origin: Spain

Beyond The Veil
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: July 12th, 2024
Genre: Black, Doom, Thrash
1. Inner Flame
2. Sons Of The Serpent
3. Marrow Of The Soul
4. The Architect
5. Beyond The Veil Part I: Mirrors Of Doom
6. Beyond The Veil Part II: Necromancer
7. The Golden Crest (The Ritual, The Curse, The Path, The Light)

Review by Fernando on June 21, 2024.

Celtic Frost is a band that's synonymous with extreme metal and for good reason, Tom G. Warrior, Martin Ain and co. set the blueprint for black metal, death metal, gothic metal and a myriad of other subgenres and hybrid genres, inspiring generations of bands to this day. And today we have the Spanish occult metallers Totengott, who started their existence as a Celtic Frost tribute band, taking their name from the song of the same name on Celtic Frost's monumental swan song 'Monotheist'. Totengott has made a name for themselves continuing in the tradition set by the Swiss titans, and after a long period, they come back with their third album, and I can say that this is their best and where they truly become their own entity within the sphere of influence from Celtic Frost.

I want to get this out of the way quick, yes, Totengott is extremely indebted to Celtic Frost, and not just their early days. In some areas the music sounds uncanny to Tom G. Warrior, particularly the more mid-pace and morose moments, and some of the harsh vocals. Yes, it is easy to label this band as a Celtic Frost worship band, or worse, copyists, but I think that's extremely reductive, especially if you spend a couple of hours on the 'raw black metal' tag on Bandcamp. But, it is worth noting, and keep in mind that this band started out as a Celtic Frost cover band, if anything to understand where Totengott is coming from and what they're intent is.

With that out of the way, I really enjoyed this record, the band did an excellent job at playing that particular niche that Celtic Frost created which later spawned into black/thrash and death/doom metal. Chunky riffs, massive drums, powerful bellowing vocals and odd time signatures. However, where the band truly come into their own is when they speed up, at their most punk and thrashing, the band truly become something else, whilst maintaining those low-tuned guitar riffs, which they also mix up by keeping the drums fast but the riffs slow, and the ensuing juxtaposition feels smothering. Furthermore, the instrumentation and technical prowess of this trio is also outstanding, despite how much they draw from Tom G. Warrior, they add a level of raw grit that became less pronounced in Celtic Frost.

The final aspect I want to highlight is the production, because it's excellent, and on that note, another aspect where Totengott go above and beyond their reverence is on the atmospherics and more symphonic element, first they don't get cheesy or overwrought but the use of brass instrumentation like horns and bells and old-school industrial percussion give songs like the first part of the 2-part title track, and 'The Architect' create a sense of depth and darkness. Through the production the band achieved a dark atmosphere that's different from Celtic Frost and Tom G. Warrior's successor band, Triptykon. The best way I can describe this dark atmosphere is avant-garde bands like Deathspell Omega, instead of the desolate melancholy of Celtic Frost, we get an ominous and off-putting sense of dread, like walking into a gothic cathedral in the middle of the night, and with how polished and pristine the production is, you hear and feel every single nuance in the instrumentation and compositions.

All in all, while not the most original band in the world, Totengott most definitely knows what they're doing and how to do it, the band succeed because of their reverence of Celtic Frost, and also show that they're more than their influence, even if during brief glimpses. To any fans of Tom G. Warrior this is an easy recommendation, but I do still recommend an open mind and look beyond the obvious influence, because you might be surprised while also scratching an itch.

Rating: 8 out of 10