On the back of the record sleeve it is stressed that Bekëth Nexëhmü’s 2013 demo ‘De Svarta Riterna’ is not a new album. Yet it looks, feels and sounds just like a new album. It this is a mere demo, as claimed, I’ll be damned! Written and recorded in a handful of days, the four epic, emotive songs on offer pass the 47-minute mark (which brings the record into full-length territory, ahem…) and it is one thoroughly enjoyable trip.
There are a lot of dreamy, expansive, spacey, cosmic passages included – which would normally have me running for cover – but somehow Swartadauþuz is a master of mixing vicious, menacing parts with warmer, more atmospheric breaks. The keen sense of melody at play here does not vex me in the slightest.
Somewhere along the way the classification of the equally-stunning ‘De Dunkla Herrarna’ changed from demo to full-length; the same could easily happen here. Because this marvellous and obscure recording is worthy of being considered as an album.
All in all, what we have is another exceptional offering from Bekëth Nexëhmü and the enigmatic Ancient Records / Mysticism Productions stable (really cool labels on the vinyl, by the way…).