BEREFT‘s debut album, Leichenhaus, should not be mistaken for an unearnest attempt at doom metal nor merely as an unfocused side project band. This is excellent doom created by true doom followers. The band, comprised of members of INTRONAUT, ABYSMAL DAWN, NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW, and GRAVITON, draw inspiration from all over the subgenre’s history to create an ultra heavy, brooding, dark, and depressed experience. And how more doom can you get than an album centered on the concept of entering the realm of death?
In addition to the muscular, down tuned riffs, ritualistic drumming and gigantic, cavernous feel, there is a subtle trippy, atmospheric dimension, acoustic guitar embellishments as well as a healthy use of melody that helps distinguish BEREFT. It must be said that vocalist/guitarist Charles Elliott‘s vocals are just godly on Leichenhaus. His ultra low and long growls fit the music just perfectly. No doom band of this general style should be without a Charles Elliott.
Highlights can be found throughout the record. “Withered Efflorescence” has a great main riff that the band does a great job of building on throughout the song. “The Coldest Orchestra” has a nice juxtaposition of atmospheric, melodic, and dirty, heavy riffing. “Ethereal Dispereal” has a great crawling lead guitar part and melancholic tone that would make classic, middle-era KATATONIA envious. It is probably the crown jewel of the record.
Overall, Leichenhaus is a strong debut that will please fans of great doom such as MY DYING BRIDE, SKEPTICISM, and SLEEP while simultaneously sounding unique and fresh. (The End Records)