Leviathan - _True Traitor, True Whore_
(Profound Lore, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (8.5 out of 10)
As much as I love United States black metal, it took me a while to approach this album. Since the early 2000s, Leviathan has been consistent in his output of challenging black metal records. Before that, the Leviathan project was author to fifteen demos made in four years. I have always enjoyed Leviathan, but was hesitant to listen to Jeff "Wrest" Whitehead's newest release _True Traitor, True Whore_. For a couple of weeks, it sat on my coffee table silently emanating a glow of hatred. I knew that the time would come where I would be forced top open a world of torment and despair.

_True Traitor, True Whore_ now has a legacy of infamy attached to its release. In January of 2011, Jeff Whitehead was accused of physical and sexual abuse by his ex-girlfriend, which ultimately led to his arrest. Since then, Whitehead has been released on bail with no further details regarding charges. Friends and colleagues have come to the musician's aid with various accounts of mental instability and questionable credibility against the other party. Regardless of facts and details, Leviathan's fifth studio album _True Traitor, True Whore_ is directly inspired by the thoughts and feelings of these events. This is why it sat on my coffee table for so long. I know what lies in wait for me and it promises not to be easy.

Beyond the emotional and topical subtext of this album, Leviathan once again produces a structurally sound black metal record which continues to push the boundaries of the style. Songs combine a guitar-heavy mid-tempo record full of shrieks and groans. Additionally, the experimentation on _True Traitor, True Whore_ is stunning, with varied instances of hazy drone and irregular mania. One of the first singles released from the record was "Contrary Pulse", which sort of begins like a black metal song but soon deconstructs itself into a pool of distorted horror.

Leviathan has always had a wonderful talent of brining the listener into a world of cold, bleak despair. Even before these events, the world of Leviathan has been populated by demonic instances of misogyny and vile corruption. Personally, I feel that an artistic aura often is very different from its creator. This may or may not be the case for Jeff Whitehead and Leviathan.

It is going to be impossible to divorce _True Traitor, True Whore_ from the event which transpired. While I'm sure all parties involved wished the events never happed, Whitehead has found a constructive outlet for his present emotions. _True Traitor, True Whore_ is a personal document of rage which lives in the black metal tradition of ruminating feelings transferred into song. It is dark. It is evil. It is an arresting record which needs no instances of pretending.

Contact: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

(article published 8/12/2011)


ALBUMS
2/24/2009 Y Zhu 7 Leviathan - Massive Conspiracy Against All Life
9/19/2005 T DePalma 8.5 Leviathan - A Silhouette in Splinters
7/31/2004 T DePalma 7.5 Leviathan - Tentacles of Whorror
11/26/2003 A McKay 3 Leviathan - Leviathan
10/31/2003 A Wee 6.5 Leviathan - The Throne Of Bones
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