20 Jun 2022 - Thorsten
(Atmospheric) Black Metal | Babylon Doom Cult Records, Swarte Yssel | Release date: 17 Jun 2022 | Favorite song: Balans
There are some bands that just don’t make it easy on you – Dinbethes might be one of them. Their mix of black metal structures, punk tempi, pagan shouts, doom moments and sometimes even psychedelic parts is not unheard of, not unusual but in some way different and hard to pinpoint. But one thing remains clear – this is, at its core, black metal of the highest standards!
One look at the band members’ other projects (among others Shagor, Ossaert or Pestilence) and it becomes clear that they won’t turn their backs on the music which came from the North to capture the souls of the living and the dead – nevertheless this kind of ride is always welcome and provides the experienced black metal-head with lots of moments to automatically think “Yeah, I heard that somewhere else already!”
The opening track ”Venijn” (“Venom”) starts with a reminiscence of Iskandr’s amazing ”Het Graf” (to be found on the redefining EP Gelderse Poort) – but at the same time the influence of the soulful acoustic covers Amenra cannot be denied, just check their cover of Zjef Vanuytsel’s track ”Het Dorp”. Surely two connections to be proud of.
Nevertheless, ”Venijn” quickly leaves this path by flexing its muscles and throws in some of the folklore elements the new Dutch black metal scene is so famous for often defined by a difference between the music’s slow character and the whooping whirlwind in the background. Folklore meets black metal and together they creep into your conscience – Dinbethes do the same thing. The riff’s whirlwind is countered by the somewhat mid-tempo level of the rhythm section and the hushed clean vocals at the turning point of the track are the betrayal before the blastbeats that follow and definitely are spat at us like venom from the deepest pits of hell. And then they even add a heathen choir after five minutes – this a band that knows how to structure their funeral songs.
Another excellent example of these skills and knowledge is the title track, which is also the last and longest track on the record. It is already wound up by ”Los”, the track before, serving as a kind of mellow, somewhat mantra-like intro; but the first riff of ”Balans” starts at the end of that intro, so that we do not even notice the overlapping. This track also provides some insight into the specialty of Dinbethes – their attitude towards speed. There are many moments on the record when they simply put the pedal to the metal and let all reigns go so that the songs get this old-schoolish punk attitude that is pretty characteristic for some of the first and second wave of classic black metal. That the second half of the eleven minute long track starts with nice, nearly jazzy trickle-down drumming and some shoegaze riffs only adds a little psychedelic touch to the last few minutes of this impressive debut.
Yes, this is a record for genre-fans, true! But first of all there is nothing wrong with that and second of all – if done as convincingly as here, then there is nothing left to wish for. In that sense, Dinbethes make it easy for the audience to like them.