LEVIATHAN
"True Traitor, True Whore"

(Profound Lore)

01. True Whorror
02. Her Circle Is The Noose
03. Brought Up To The Bottom
04. Contrary Pulse
05. Shed This Skin
06. Every Orifice Yawning Her Price
07. Harlot Rises
08. Blood Red And True

RATING: 7.5/10

This is the sound of venomous contempt, to say the very least. One-man black metal boundary-pusher Jef Whitehead (aka "Wrest") returned to the scene to use LEVIATHAN to express his deepest hatred toward the individual that he claims turned his life upside down with her allegations. There is need to repeat the specifics of the case here, especially since arrest doesn't equate to conviction. The matter at hand is this assessment of "True Traitor, True Whore", an album seething with rage, if no longer pushing the limits that has resulted in Wrest's status as an important contributor to the genre.

"True Traitor, True Whore" is LEVIATHAN at its harshest. Though rife with the dissonant tones and macabre effects that Wrest had expanded into realms most unique and artistic on previous releases, the new album in the most of relative of terms is a more direct one. A strong effort from beginning to end it, a familiar thread of maliciousness is heard across the album, making individual tracks somewhat less distinctive, perhaps purposely so in conveying a common theme. Specific cuts do rise to the notable though, including the pounding tempo, sinister buzz and effective shifts of "True Whorror", as well as the classic LEVIATHAN feel and cold dissonance of "Her Circle the Noose", the steady beat and ghastliness of "Shed the Skin", and the hardened riffs and electronic flourishes that define "Harlot Rises". As has always been the case, Wrest's vocal variation from bile-soaked grunt to siren wails and spine-chilling howls creates an added layer of fright; "Brought up to the Bottom" and the aforementioned "Her Circle is the Noose" are two that immediately come to mind in that regard.

Wrest's knack for nuance and his ability to make parts that weren't initially noticed come to life through repeat listens are characteristics revealed with time invested. Examples include the grotesque string bends in "Contrary Pulse" and the descending guitar line that goes so well with the uneasiness that fills the air from a croaking vocal line on "Shed the Skin".

In the final analysis, "True Traitor, True Whore" may never be considered a classic LEVIATHAN release. It will, however, be one marked with distinction for the impact felt through the creator's hateful purges during the time period in which it was created. Lined up against black metal albums recorded by bands inspired by the likes of XASTHUR and LEVIATHAN, "True Traitor, True Whore" still represents the suffocating sound of a style nearly impossible to recreate by imitators.

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