Black metal pioneers BETHLEHEM will release their new album, "Bethlehem", on December 2 via Prophecy Productions. Produced by the band and Markus Stock (Emyprium, The Vision Bleak) at Studio E (Helrunar, Secrets of the Moon), "Bethlehem" is the band's eighth full-length record, and its release celebrates the 25th anniversary of the award-winning group, who features in its ranks bassist Bartsch, drummer Wolz, guitarist Karzov and new singer Onielar, from none other than German black metal stalwarts Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult.
In advance of the record's release, BETHLEHEM is streaming the new song "Kalt' Ritt in leicht faltiger Leere", which according to Bartsch, "could be translated to 'Cold Ride in Flimsy Wrinkled Void'". Experience BETHLEHEM's "Kalt' Ritt in leicht faltiger Leere" here and now:
"'Kalt' Ritt in leicht faltiger Leere' lyrically, as well as musically, stands for the transcendental range of Bethlehem in 2016," comments Bartsch. "Onielar's unique and completely insane vocals put the finishing touch to it. Something wicked this way comes!"
"Bethlehem" is the follow-up to BETHLEHEM's 2014 LP, "Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia", which was hailed as "strange, heavy, explorative, and dark" and "one of the best albums of the year" by Decibel. Self-titled albums usually suggest either a questionable "return to the roots" or a band reinvention of sorts. For BETHLEHEM, however, the release of the eponymously titled "Bethlehem" is a welcome rejuvenation in every respect. After long-standing drummer Wolz returned to the fold, Bartsch recruited Russian guitarist Karzov (who took on a major role in BETHLEHEM's songwriting) and a new singer: none other than Onielar from German black metal stalwarts Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. Onielar's deranged vocals add to the deranged morbidity of "Bethlehem", an album that conjures a fresh take on BETHLEHEM's mid-to-late-90s sound that Bartsch calls "anarchic as always".
Ultimately, "Bethlehem" encompasses everything the progenitors of dark metal are about, combining the group’s early harshness with an outrageous catchiness and the experimentalism BETHLEHEM has always boasted, all crowned with a production that perfectly balances both rawness and power.
"Apparently somebody in this f*cking universe answered my longstanding wish at last. These 10 tracks have the spirit and the balls I missed in Bethlehem for more than 18 years!" - Marcus Losen (ex-Bethlehem)