(Originally posted to Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives)
Welcome to your death. It's dark all around you. Suddenly, you see a light. You slowly move toward the light feeling warmer and happier as you move closer to it. But just as you get within grasping range, you are quickly picked up and taken backwards, away from the light, by an ominous force. Besides your own wailing, all you hear is a demonic voice uttering one line:
"There is no light for you...At the end of the tunnel..."
Leviathan's first official full-length release has nearly everything you need to experience from black metal's darkest tones. It's sole member Wrest has expertly pieced together furious riffs, tortured voices, and even added some well placed dark ambient passages for good measure.
On one end, you have songs that are almost entirely composed of furious riffs such as "Fucking Your Ghost In Chains Of Ice," "Scenic Solitude and Leprosy," and "At the Door to the Tenth Sub Level of Suicide." Wrest can make some really catchy riff passages in those songs particularly the "refrain" riff in "Fucking Your Ghost..." Wrest also got away with not repeating a riff passage on the fifteen minute long finale "At the Door..."
However, I think his best job on the album is shown on "Sardoniscorn" and "Mine Molten Armor," both which have a particularly chilling mid-section break. Each of them start out aggressive and eventually come to the break; but while "Mine Molten Armor" eventually rebuilds its speed for the blastbeating finish, "Sardoniscorn" stays a little slower repeating a few verses until Wrest utters "Kill Yourself" at the end.
"The Bitter Emblem of Dissolve," "He Whom Shadows Move Towards," and "The Idiot Sun" are all slower paced and desolate sounding which fits well in some places but gets kinda tiresome at others. "The Bitter Emblem..." fits the style the most perfectly but mostly because the black metal only goes on for three minutes before the dark ambient takes over. "The Idiot Sun" is simply a somber sounding song that sends chills down my spine, especially with Wrest howling "self destruction universe" at the end. Even so, if I'm eager to get to the final song, I usually end up skipping "The Idiot Sun."
'The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide' is one of the best US black metal albums released. Wrest has given us some of his best work in this album. Black metal fans should be prepared to fork over their cash if they hope to obtain this CD. I luckily found it for around $11.99 at a store and even then it was used.