ZARACH'BAAL'THARAGH  Eternal Darkness  CD   (At War With False Noise)   9.98

The first black metal album to be released on At War With False Noise, and as would be expected, it's a weird one. Sounding like the gutteral expectorant of a Cthulhu high priest, Zarach'Baal'Tharagh is a French black metaller that has been releasing a ridiculously massive body of work over the past few years; I checked out one list of his recordings online and it looks like the guy has self-released something like fifty-nine demos under the ZBT name, with more on the way. This uber-prolific approach to home recording actually reaches back to the early 1980's, when the guy behind ZBT was doing an early home-taped bedroom metal project called Skull Face that started in 1983! As Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, though, the sound is total black metal, albeit of the most damaged, stumbling and noisy variety. This full length CD is a collection of out-of-print demo tracks, and all of this stuff is raw, ultra ULTRA low fi black metal, divided into three sections: the Primitive Era demo is four tracks of shambolic black blurr, heavily reverbed guitar mixed way up front with repetitious dirgey riffs, a drum machine that sounds surprisingly natural blasting away chaotically in the background, and harsh noisy vocals that come out a total blurr of hiss and distortion. The Apocalypse demo starts and ends with weird psychedelic synth pieces, but in between it's an insane black metal clusterfuck. These songs are almost totally drowned in reverb and sound like they could well be improvised. Everything is covered in reverb, the guitars, vocals, drums, everything, the drums are so spaced out that they barely sound like drumbeats at all, riffs go totally nowhere, songs just seem to uncoil at random. It's fucking awesome if you've got a taste for ultra bizarre, fucked up and dubby black metal noise....imagine an even noisier, low-fi version of Abruptum playing primitive blackthrash. And the guitar soloing on some of these songs, like the appropriately titled "Chaos" are beyond insane.

The last third of this collection features the El Borak demo, and again the tone of the music changes somewhat. There's a higher concept at work here, with the songs titled "El Borak", "El Borak Pact", "El Borak Nightmare Uncut", and "El Borak Outro", but I have no idea what the story is there. These songs do, however, rip my face off with riff after glorious riff of PCP fueled blackened thrash over an almost nonexistent drum machine - seriously, it's buried s low that these almost sound like guitar instrumentals - all the while ZBT shreds his formless, in-the-red solos into infinity.

It's inept and ferocious, filthy and furious, a total catastrophe of recording technique and song structure, and total genius. Zarach'Baal'Tharagh charts the formerly invisible lines connecting the deranged outsider black metal of Tjolgtjar and Striborg and the tremelo slicing reverb-seas of the infamous Les Legiones Noires.

Track Samples:
Sample : ZARACH'BAAL'THARAGH-Eternal Darkness
Sample : ZARACH'BAAL'THARAGH-Eternal Darkness
Sample : ZARACH'BAAL'THARAGH-Eternal Darkness