Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Monday, November 28, 2022

Review: Besatt – Dyst

Label: Narcoleptica Productions

Date: May 27th, 2022

I was so excited to hear there was a new Besatt EP on the market. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity of grabbing the promo from Abaddon Magazine’s e-mail. Though there was something quite iffy to begin with. It seemed that the band has changed the magnificent logo for this… Well, b-movie horror type of thing. And the cover seemed to march along the similar beat with the Quasimodo-like creature adorning it.

But I was willing to live with it, hoping one of my favorite Polish bands has a good enough explanation for what they’re doing. They usually do, even if this would be the biggest excursion out the back door they’ve ever taken. So I pushed “play”.

It took me about three seconds to reach the speed of light in finding out what the hell happened with Besatt. Jumping up on the internet, of course, only to find out I’m way off in my assumptions. Geographically speaking, since I’m dealing with a band from Norway. A duo, to be exact, which started their musical journey only last year and already have a full length album, four singles and this here EP. Fairly productive, it must be said. Twenty songs released in just about one year. Which could only mean one thing…

And sadly it does. Like in the case of so many other hyper productive acts, nothing gets left behind, little, if anything, is scrapped and it can all be fitted, one way or another. Then it’s only a matter of slapping that “avant-garde” sticker on the genre definition and you’re good to go. In reality, “Dyst” is a mix-up of so many musical directions that intertwine, tie into insoluble knots, layer together like burgers on honey and ultimately leave the listener confused rather than amazed.

Unless you are that elitist person who believes there’s a deeper meaning none can understand other than you. In that case, trust me, “Dyst” is the next logical step in your development as a supreme human being.

For the rest of us, lesser humanoids, this is likely unbearable. Well, perhaps in pieces it would be good enough for a few auditions. However, “Dyst” is not in pieces. It’s a fully formed work, but as heterogeneous as humanly possible. We’ve got influences ranging from primordial Motorhead, to new age Satyricon, with everything in between. There’s some Voivod that slides into Nine Inch Nails. Some thrash metal that sounds like a B side of some Exciter’s single. Weird vocal work can connect Celtic Frost with Ministry. And so on and so forth.

In essence, let’s call this avant-garde industrial black thrash metal. I have no frame of reference other than the one given above, which is a dreadful problem for any reviewer. I’m either missing out on a whole fresh viewpoint and redefining moment in heavy metal history or I’ve just wasted hours trying to explain a definite hit and miss when it comes to musical inspiration. From my experience, it’s usually the latter.

Then again, this is usually the moment when I’m being called ignorant, a musical ignoramus. This is where “I don’t understand the sophisticated work of art”. While the band declares they do not read or care about reviews. While reading my review.

Oh, and next time please check online before naming your band. Besatt is quite a name of the underground black metal scene, being around since mid-1990’s. Considering you take from second wave black metal as well, you’ve got to realize the genre doesn’t quite finish up in Norway, even if it started there.