Stemming from the actually quite impressive Israeli underground metal scene, Betzefer takes the meat and bones from all its varied influences and throws it into a chulent (Jewish soul food resembling stew) that satisfies the urge for some good fuckin’ rock and roll (the name of one of their songs, actually).
You may ask, “What the hell does Betzefer mean?”
Matan Cohen, their Goldstar (Israeli-beer) swilling, dreadlock sporting AC/DC acolyte of a guitarist explains that they started out as a cover band for one gig only at school playing AC/DC, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and whatever else, “so we thought of the name Betzefer-school band. In Hebrew we write it in slang (Betzefer, rather than Beit Sefer).”
Since then, they’ve become a well-established act that has played to audiences numbering in the thousands. In the coming months, they’re going to Belgium to record a release that will be produced by Denmark’s Tue Madsen (Mnemic, The Haunted, Aborted, etc).
Matan, drummer Roey Berman, who likes to play chess with himself, and vocalist Avital Tamir, who moonlights as a photo developer and asserts that – “If I see one more fucking wedding picture I’m going to freak,”- all grew up together in a small suburb of Modiin called Maccabim-Reut.
Now, they all live in a Tel Aviv studio/party house together, except for the new guy – bassist Rotem, (aka Glida – Ice Cream) whom they are trying to convince to move to Tel Aviv from Haifa. School’s out and Betzefer is having a great time doing what they love.
You can hear it in their music. Betzefer has a brutal sound but they’re not vicious. They hate but it’s a fun kind of hate. It’s like when two old friends, drunk off their asses, meet for the first time in months and during their overjoyed reunion beat each other senseless.
Avital elaborates through mouthfuls of soybeans. “We don’t follow any specific breed of music. This is music that’s really like the roots – Pantera, Sepultura, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Soulfly…” Their sound is really versatile. In one song they’ll have a Panterish southern Black Label Society/C.O.C. groove. In another, they’ll make use of Slayer speed and technical prowess. And in another they’ll mix hardcore beats with classic metal guitar.
Check it out. It’s good shit.