Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Say that once. Hell, don't even say it once. The tongue-twister simply means the fear of the number 666. U.S. presidents have feared the number 666, so it's fair to say some others will as well. The Number of the Beast has affected untold millions since it was written in some stupid book ages ago, its true origins obscured by time and dust. If you didn't know, Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, is the title of German dark metal legends Bethlehem. It, like the albums before it, is complicated. It's at once true to Bethlehem's foundation, but also true to the band's ability to color well outside established lines. There's no doubt Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is dark metal, but those that venture deeper will find a German outfit at awesome heights (if open-mindedness is a personal trait, of course), transforming, blending, and fusing black metal, gothic rock, industrial, and even a little new wave. Truly, Bethlehem in 2014 are untouchable!
"I wrote this song 'cause musically it reflects self-destruction and doubts of a once split personality haunted by visions. Lyrically it gives the impression of been buried alive in this private hell," says Bethlehem braintrust Jürgen Bartsch to Decibel.
If curious as to what Bartsch is talking about, the upcoming issue of Decibel (#122) provides hints.
Alright, time to spend Friday in plastic! Bring on "Verbracht in Plastiknacht"!
** Bethlehem's Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is out October 10th on Prophecy Productions. It's available HERE for pre-order, unless you fear 666. In that case, double down on your most spiritual of fears and get the 10-LP limited edition Hau Ab boxset, HERE. If you don't know what "hau ab" means, click the link. That's a German language lesson for the day.