Beissert write songs about Wolves, witches, war and wrath. They employ titles such as ‘the Pusher’, ‘Aal ins gekroese’ and they sound like High on fire fronted by Jello Biafra and Max Cavelera having a shouting match while Mike Patton referees. About as subtle as a brick to the cranium and twice as brutal, this is not an album for the weak of will.
Opening track ‘the pusher’ says it all really: a rhythm section that could pull double duty a as pile driver, the aforementioned vocal twists and a solo that is frankly unhinged. It’s an intriguing mix that is as beguiling as it is head-scratching and you quickly become drawn into Beissart’s terrifying world of the demonic, the magical and the slightly aggravated. ‘Die dunkelheit uns mit sich nimmt’ (try saying that after a few ales) is a dark riff fest that chugs on along nicely in a Helmet-playing-doom-metal-covers-in-the-style-of-Frank-Zappa sort of way and the vocals, if possible, are even more off the sanity chart. ‘Die fabelhafte welt der agonie’ is a melodic piano playing somewhere in an empty room which, after the previous two tracks, is less of a surprise than you may imagine. ‘Saxon: Blood: Rock’ makes up for the quiet interlude by employing jazzy time changes in the style of Botch with a hint of Fantomas thrown in just to really get your brain itching.
‘Uphillfight against the sun’ is an altogether more classical prospect than the previous number, all crunching rhythm guitars and melodic solos, although the vocals still veer more towards hardcore than metal, giving it a harsh edge, and the weird break into Sepultura and Metallica territory is as cool as it is confusing (they trip into the riffs from ‘Roots bloody roots’ and ‘trapped under ice’ somewhat randomly). The unpronounceable ‘unaussprechlichen kvlten’ opens oddly, and gets increasingly bizarre as the riffs pile in and the drums reach the desired velocity. Sounding like a cross between swamp metal and a bar-room brawl it reaffirms the fact that there has never been a band that sounds exactly like the careering insanity of Beissart – which is reason enough to show interest! ‘Durch die hare in das kind’ has a stop/start riff and jazzy feel that propels the listener into their demented world while ‘Eerie discipline’ is an acoustic led lament that could be the work of a completely different band, although it’s no less interesting for that. The thrash mess of ‘Aal ins gekroese’ makes up for the accidental slip into melodic territory by sounding like the earlier tracks being thrown into a cement mixer! ‘Yggdrasil’ returns to the acoustic side but the vocals can’t really compete with the beautiful sounding guitar work and so the side-step into half-speed doom/grindcore makes sense until it transforms again into a mid-tempo pop-rock song with the most addictive hook since ‘oops I did it again’ – confused? You bloody well be! ‘Bloodsown’ is a clusterf*** – heavy as hell and half as melodic while closer ‘Gedanke & Erinnerung’ is just plain strange.
Beissert are an odd group and no mistake. They are, as far as I can ascertain, utterly unique and much of their music is engaging, well-played and great fun. I would have two minor criticisms of the album: firstly, occasionally their ambition outstrips their production budget and more time and effort might have seen some of the more unintentionally rough edges smoothed out and secondly the album becomes exhausting some ten minutes before the end. So many ideas come flying at you, along with so many disparate styles, that it is hard to keep your head from spinning towards the end. That said, these are fairly minor quibbles: beissert have created an album that will keep you coming back, if only to work out if what you actually heard was real and not just the product of that last smoke you had before bed time, and that alone is a worthy achievement in today’s over-crowded music scene. I’d recommend this to fans of Botch, DEP, Fantomas, Mike Patton in general and those with an open mind. Well worth exploring, then, but not quite the classic they might have hoped for.