BE PERSECUTED- I.I. (No Colours Records)
Probably the only reason I checked out this album in the first place is because BE PERSECUTED are from China, as I had never previously heard any Chinese metal before, and fittingly enough this is some of the grimest and most fucked up black metal I have ever laid ears on. From out of the industrial din of Jiangxi comes BE PERSECUTED, one of the only metal bands to ever come from China. Fronted by an incredible female vocalist in Zhao Qiang, BE PERSECUTED's debut full-length I.I.
is a deeply depressing album of suicidal black metal of the most misanthropic variety. Taking cues from the legions of one-man black metal projects that have emerged mostly in the United States (all influenced heavily by BURZUM of course), BE PERSECUTED's sound is very similar in many ways despite the fact that there are three members in the band on the this record. The drums are programmed though, which is obvious when listening to the album and does slightly hinder the overall effect. However the guitar work is solid and stays well within the familiar realms of this style of music, that is to say there is little variation or experimentation on any level really. This is strictly for people who are already fans of this kind of minimalistic low-fi buzzing sonic abyss, and for those twisted blackened souls this is a record that is sure to deliver on every level.
Getting back to the vocals, the fact that it is a woman shrieking does not surprise me, as there are no real growls but more of a primal animal-like yelp, the kind first really implemented by Varg Vikernes with BURZUM. It is definitely quite disconcerting and disturbing a lot of time, capturing the essence of the raw emotion that is being presented. Production-wise, this is the absolute epitome of low budget "necro kvlt" recording; it basically sounds like they recorded the music while a massive hail storm assaulted the studio. That's the image I get at least, and it works with the stormy nature imagery of the artwork. The songs do have lyrics but they are completely indecipherable and are in very bad English, as evidenced even with songtitles like "Be Resented For Livelihood" and "Revolves Weakly Falls". The one song that is in Chinese, titled "Some How", is also the most adventurous song on the album, featuring prominent keyboards and very deliberate vocals. The rest of the songs (aside from the minimalist "Intro" and "Outro") all feature a nice combination of fast and slower tempos, with swirling minor key melodies to accompany the vicious buzzsaw blast-beat parts. Unfortunately the bass is nonexistent on the album, not only is the instrument itself is buried in the mix but the whole sound is more treble in general.
This is a solid (if unspectacular) piece of suicidal black metal, the kind that will only reach a certain group of people already inclined to such nihilistic sounds. If you know exactly what to expect, I.I.
is an album for you.