Finland's Beherit (the Syriac name for Satan, incidentally) was spawned in 1989 by spectacularly named vocalist/guitarist Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance. Along with bassist Black Jesus and drummer Sodomatic Slaughter, his express purpose was to perform the most primitive, savage, hell-obsessed black metal imaginable (no Viking themes to be found here). Clearly influenced by the blunt, unrefined sonic standards heard on Bathory's early efforts, Beherit's heavily traded demo tapes provided the bulk material for their 1991 debut, The Oath of Black Blood. Arguably Finland's first full-fledged black metal album, it preceded their by now far more legendary peers Impaled Nazarene by a year. Like other lo-fi black metal outfits, Beherit's commercial intractability, frightening visuals, and outrageous live performances (including the occasional goat on-stage) begat a small but extremely dedicated cult following, which readily snapped up subsequent releases such as Werewolf, Semen and Blood, Messe des Morts, and Drawing Down the Moon. 1994's enigmatic H418ov21.C inaugurated a wholly different phase for the band (now whittled down to a lone Holocausto), characterized by the ambient synth collages of darkwave and leading to 1996's similar Electric Doom Synthesis. Beherit quietly vanished soon thereafter, but 1999's Beast of Beherit compilation was eventually released to commemorate the band's important contributions to the black metal field.
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