Belliciste – Bardachd Cogaidh (Todestrieb Records)
Review by Milos Sebalj
What happens when the one man behind the one-man band has the ability of thought and an actual musical know-how? “Bardachd Cogaidh” happens, that’s what! There’s only been a couple of these solo endeavors I’ve been a fan of, since Burzum ‘til nowadays. On a side note, I believe Burzum is terribly overrated (not counting the ambient stuff) and is worth only as much as the “myth” behind its originator. Still, I will not become a “youtuber” to rant about it.
Belliciste began its story in New Zealand, then relocated to Scotland, Slovakia, Serbia and kill me if I know where Krigeist (the said one man) is located now. Interesting resume, to say the least. Furthermore, band’s name comes from French language and the album title from Scottish Gaelic (if I’m not mistaken). “Bardachd Cogaidh” is the second full album by the vagabond and it translates to something like “Parish of war”. Somebody with further knowledge on the language can correct me if I’m wrong.
So, what is happening on these 42 minutes of music? Black Metal, if you want a concise answer. Belliciste resides on a basic Black Metal foundations, but they (or he?) have an interesting approach to the subject which should separate them from the crowd. Think about early works of Primordial. Around the traditional Black Metal roots, Belliciste builds an aura of ancient Scottish (yes, I know Primordial isn’t from Scotland) feel to the music. Guitars switch from the genre specific speed to the epic (almost regular Heavy Metal), marching riffs with ease, allowing the atmospheric build-up around the entire release. Even an occasional solo works to the purpose. Together with the versatile drum patterns, it all leads to an album full of twists and turns which will not be easily grasped or forgotten among the many. Belliciste displays an immense dose of creativity and liberty when it comes to arranging their tunes, which is often the weak spot when it comes to one-man bands. On this album it is masterfully solved and leaves you with nothing but positive impressions. Well, for my taste, the vocals might have been a bit more powerful, or a bit more “in your face”. That is probably the only fault I found with this release.
Add to that the beautiful cover artwork and you’ve got yourself a real treat of an album. One for the connoisseurs, for sure. It takes some patience, but it certainly grows on you after a while. And when it does hit you, it makes an impact. Recommended to every fan of good, quality Black Metal.