Thursday 20 February 2014

Behemoth - The Satanist (Review)

Behemoth - The Satanist

Behemoth are an extreme metal band from Poland. The future of these Polish giants was beginning to look rather bleak after lead singer Nergal's diagnosis of leukemia back in 2010. However, after a successful bone marrow transplant, the singer began to see improvement and went on to record the bands incredible tenth studio album 'The Satanist'.

  As soon as the album begins with the track "Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel" you think you know exactly how the album is going to play out. The opening track is an epic, yet sluggish, track that falls into a rather pompous trap, it's rather self-absorbed themed lyrics as well as a choir who may as well be hailing the return of Emperor Nergal comes across as powerful, but a little too conceited. However, as the second track "Furor Divinus" hits the listeners ears, and those blast beats bleed out, the unmistakably savage and evil presence of Behemoth is unleashed and the album continues to power ahead on a full blown ferocious and energetic charge.
  There is no denying the mighty roar of Nergal, and his hateful and rebellious attitude has only grown stronger since his fight with cancer. This record is without a doubt, his most compelling and assertive vocal performance to date and his vicious and bitter howl dominates the entirety of the album.
  Another major part in this album is the skillful work of drummer Inferno, as his powerful and chaotic beats, along with the solid and substantial bass work of Orion are the core backbone of the entire album. This is first evident on the brilliant track "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer", and it is with that track that the album truly starts to take form. The dual guitar playing of Nergal and Seth on this track is nothing short of remarkable, as one catchy riff is suddenly followed by another catchy tremolo riff before smoothly fusing with the equally exceptionally brutal track "Amen". 
  Near the end of the album is where the true creative beauty and experimental work of the album is unleashed. "In The Absence Of Light" starts off like any other pummeling death metal song, but out of nowhere a laughter is heard and a beautifully haunting spoken word passage in Polish aided only by an acoustic guitar and a saxophone is recited, before suddenly blasting back into the madness, with the guitars belting out some of the best riffs of the album as if nothing even happened. The height of the album undoubtedly comes in the form of the closing track "O Father O Satan O Sun!". This epic track actually takes us back to the powerful and anthemic style of the the opening track, but with more intensity and aggression. As the mid tempo paced mood continues to build and build, Nergal delivers a rather rich and majestic epilogue, and the album fades out with an eerie dark atmospheric sound that leaves the listener on quite a reflective and almost somber silence.
  For around twenty years now, fans have seen the bands sound transition from straight-forward black metal to a more varied blackened-death-metal style. Although being fairly different and quite fresh sounding to previous releases "The Satanist' still sounds like classic Behemoth, as it holds the bands unique sound whilst they continue to dance and flirt with several types of metal genres, something that they have now become masters of.

Behemoth - Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel

The Satanist Is Available Now Via Metal Blade Records (North America):

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