LEVIATHAN
Black Metal / Metal Related • United States

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Leviathan, aka Wrest, is a one-man black metal project from San Francisco, California. The band was brought to life in 1998 and was put on hold in Oct. 2007 due to a legal dispute with the record label. Wrest brought the project back in January 2008 to release the latest album. Wrest plays every instrument found in Leviathan's music; guitar (electronic + acoustic), drums, bass, synths, ebow, and vocals.

Leviathan has 15 demos from between 1998 and 2002. There are also numerous other untitled demos that remain unreleased and uncirculated which contain some material which can be found on the splits and full-lengths. Little information is known about the latter uncategorised (outside the original 15) demos.

Leviathan also covered 'My War' by Black Flag for a Thrasher (skate board mag) compilation. The track can also be found on the latest Southern Lord Records sampler CD.

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Tenth Sub Level of SuicideTenth Sub Level of Suicide
Moribund Records 2003
Audio CD$11.48
$16.99 (used)
Howl Mockery at the CrossHowl Mockery at the Cross
Moribund Records 2005
Audio CD$10.87
$13.96 (used)
Silhouette in SplintersSilhouette in Splinters
Moribund Records 2008
Audio CD$8.96
$13.99 (used)
Massive Conspiracy Against All LifeMassive Conspiracy Against All Life
Moribund Records 2008
Audio CD$15.92
$14.01 (used)
Tentacles of WhorrorTentacles of Whorror
Moribund Records 2004
Audio CD$9.40
$8.30 (used)
SplitSplit
Southern Lord 2006
Audio CD$5.87 (used)
True Traitor True WhoreTrue Traitor True Whore
Profound Lore 2011
Audio CD$8.97
$7.67 (used)
Xasthur / LeviathanXasthur / Leviathan
Southern Lord 2006
Audio CD$7.99
$7.99 (used)
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LEVIATHAN Discography

LEVIATHAN albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.33 | 13 ratings
The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide
Black Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 3 ratings
Tentacles of Whorror
Black Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
A Silhouette in Splinters
Metal Related 2005
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 3 ratings
Massive Conspiracy Against All Life
Black Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 4 ratings
True Traitor, True Whore
Black Metal 2011

LEVIATHAN EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Iuvenes/Leviathan
Black Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Metal Against the World
Black Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Leviathan / Xasthur
Black Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Sapthuran / Leviathan
Black Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Sic Luceat Lux
Black Metal 2009

LEVIATHAN live albums

LEVIATHAN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LEVIATHAN boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Verräter
Black Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Howl Mockery at the Cross
Black Metal 2005

LEVIATHAN singles (0)

LEVIATHAN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

LEVIATHAN Reviews

LEVIATHAN The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide

Album · 2003 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Whereas many black metal artists use lyrics that express a hyperbolic, affected hatred of everyone and everything (and a very few NSBM bands express a very real and targeted hatred of other races), Leviathan's The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide directs some very genuine-seeming fear and loathing towards the self. Whilst earlier songs in the album are sung from the point of view of external forces exhorting the listener to kill themselves, by the end it is clear that the target of all this spite is Wrest himself. With an old school black metal production, ferocious musical performances, and outright bestial vocals, the album presents an exceptionally good black metal onslaught; those for whom suicidal talk may be triggering should handle with care, though you're not likely to discern specific words Wrest's werewolf howls anyway.

LEVIATHAN True Traitor, True Whore

Album · 2011 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"True Traitor, True Whore" is the 5th full-length studio album by US black metal act Leviathan. The album was released through Profound Lore Records in November 2011. Leviathan is a one-man act consisting of Wrest (Jef Whitehead) who handles all vocals and instruments. Wrest is a highly prolific artist on the US black metal scene (Lurker of Chalice and Twilight are a couple of his other projects) but also a rather mysterious character who rarely gives interviews and when he does, they are often rather cryptic and not too informative. I read one of his rare interviews a while back though and there he hinted at the possibility that "True Traitor, True Whore" was written based on his feelings after he was charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated domestic battery in January 2011. A very serious case involving Whitehead and his then girlfriend.

...and judged by songtitles (and the album title) like "Her Circle is the Noose", "Every Orifice Yawning Her Price" and "Harlots Rises (Mesmerized Again)" there might actually be something about it. The music is quite dark and filthy too with a hateful edge to it. Picture a combination of the chaotic/dissonant and semi-progressive black metal of Deathspell Omega/Blut aus Nord and the epic/ambient/industrial horror soundscapes of Gnaw Their Tongues and Leviathan is somewhere in the vicinity of how that combination would sound. Bearing that in mind it´s no surprise that "True Traitor, True Whore" is not an easily penetrable album and for most it´ll probably require a lot of spins to fully grasp. Some releases simply aren´t worth spending that much time on but that´s certainly not the case with "True Traitor, True Whore" which is quite the dark, filthy and intriguing ride. Upon repeated listens it´s also revealed that "True Traitor, True Whore" is quite a varied album, with both intense and chaotic blasting sections, ambient epic/cinematic atmospheres and filthy almost industrialized noisy sections too. The raw and raspy vocals are for the most part completely unintelligible, low in the mix and heavily distorted. While that works well most of the time, I would have appreciated a more varied vocal arsenal.

After my initial listen to "True Traitor, True Whore", I was left a bit confused but definitely wanting more. It´s an ambivalent feeling of frustration and sweet expectation that you´ve found something that´s actually worth exploring a bit further but have a hard time penetrating. Upon repeated listens tracks like "Every Orifice Yawning Her Price" with it´s goth rocking drum beats and the multi-layered and actually quite brilliant "Harlots Rises (Mesmerized Again)" begin to stand out and upon conclusion "True Traitor, True Whore" is quite the impressive release by Leviathan. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

LEVIATHAN Howl Mockery at the Cross

Boxset / Compilation · 2005 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Wilytank
(Originally posted to Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives)

There are some bands who make compilation albums with songs easily found on the standard editions of their common full-lengths, and there are some bands who compile rare songs from demos or the like. 'Howl Mockery at the Cross' is a solid example of the latter. The release contains a collection of Leviathan songs recovered from damaged demo tapes. Consequentially, the recording quality varies from song to song. Some of Wrest's best work can be found here.

"Summoning Lupine," my favorite track on the CD, starts with 45 seconds of ambient tone mixed with war trumpets and continues on as the drums and bass join in. Wrest issues forth a creepy vocal passage before letting the raw black metal riffs start. Though the song goes on for almost nine minutes, Wrest never repeats a riff and the song doesn't get boring.

The three songs that follow are also nice selections. "Lycanthropus Rex" has a manic intro and outro riff that fits the image of the song's namesake. "The Axis and Maw of the Inferno, Mine" is slightly slower and darker while maintaining a good degree of aggression. "Where Annihilation Dwells" has drums that play at a near constant speed, but along with the guitar riffs, it sounds fine.

The next few are much less great. "Liar of Nazareth" has riffs that remind me too much of a Gorgoroth song called "Profetens Apenbaring." The so called "melodic" main riff of "Just Under the Tainted Grace" is annoying to hear; fortunately, it doesn't stay on that riff the whole song. The only song I find absolutely skip-able is "S.W.O.L." It sounds like one of Xasthur's crappier songs. Come on, Wrest. You could have picked a better song than that.

I somehow find the later part of "Never For Peace" danceable. It begins with fast riffs and ends with a groove metal type riff. It may be the only reason to keep listening to this CD. "Those Slimy Things" is boring (but not as boring as "S.W.O.L."), and the Death In June cover, though a little better, doesn't have much in terms of redeeming qualities.

If you don't mind the mediocre songs, the rest of the CD can be really rewarding. It's not totally essential, but this CD rounds off a Leviathan collection quite nicely.

LEVIATHAN The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide

Album · 2003 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Wilytank
(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.

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