Russian black metal band БѢСЪ (Biese) seems to see blasphemy as a calling. So much so that their project’s debut LP is literally called, Кощунства (Blasphemies). The band is the product of a single, deranged mind, that of a man who refers to himself only as Demetr, and describes his role as not only the source of the band’s sound, but also any sorcery associated with it.
Most prominent amongst Demetr’s many reproaches of Christian doctrine is his distrustful examination of the eucharist. As the painting by Dmitriy Moor used for the cover of Кощунства illuminates, the cannibalism and necromancy implied by the transformation of bread and wine into human flesh and blood are less than wholesome in their implications for the faithful. Even a pagan as vile as Demetr looks on such rituals with a disease warranted by their suggested barbarism.
Criticism of mock blood orgies is well and good for a think piece, but when it comes to a heavy metal album, the riffs and the energy need to be there, or else it is just another file folder taking up space in the cloud. Thankfully, the music on Кощунства is as solid as the Rock of Ages is claimed to be. Things start out promisingly with the dark and jagged rip of “Исходъ (Exodus)” with its crosscutting grooves which will saw through your defenses, allowing Demetr’s gnashing vocals to beat and chew your insides. “Чърнобогъ (Black God)” rides a gloomy melody through a channel of gripping, gore-tearing riffs, capturing the feeling of slipping down a giant esophageal passage lined with serrated teeth and landing in a stinking eddy of acid and ambergris. The highlight of the album by far though is “Мара-Ма,” which has an eerie early Enslaved feel, with its wintery, barbed-whip melody, that rages like an enormous bear attacking a hunting encampment, spurred frowardly by a spike-tipped rhythmic plunge and given a sinister sense of resolve and purpose by the presence of ghastly choral vocals.
You can stream the entirety of БѢСЪ’s Кощунства below via Bandcamp: