Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gdańsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground.
Until the late 1990s, the band played a traditional black metal style with heathen lyrical content, but soon changed to that of occultand thelemic themes written by their lead vocalist Nergal and Krzysztof Azarewicz. With the 1999 release of Satanica, the band demonstrated their presence in the death metal scene, while retaining their own signature style characterized by the drum work ofInferno, multi-layered vocals and Middle-Eastern influences. Despite Behemoth having been labeled as death metal or thrash metal-influenced, Nergal has mentioned that he does not like the band to be labeled.
Of My Worship—-Beginning in the grand manner such as this band is known for, the chants at the onset make the tone even more frightening than necessary. The mayhem is not far to be followed as the release takes place….Nergal….one of my favorite Black Metal front men was in sure command of the band even in this earlier release.
Summoning—-Melding from one song to the other seamlessly the guttural vocals were a surprise when I first heard this earlier release…compared to the production they have now. This has a nice evil and dark overtone…giving me never ceasing pleasure in the words that I still can’t catch all of…it is a brilliant release though….giving us a nice taste of the masterful releases to come.,
The Arrival—-With faux wolves and funeral music at the onset, this is a rather dark opus…leading you to wonder how much of this is real and how much is show…..
Dance Of The Prague—-In full form, I feel we finally have the first proper song on this release….the puked vocals are literally insane…full of vitriol and anger…the wolves bay in the backdrop and the screams are intense as fuck. The lines are spewed forth with anger…blackness and and a death growl…this is a pretty intense release.
Fields Of Maggots—-Strong right out of the gate with a death growl, Nergal delivers line after line of indistinct yet somehow scary as hell vocals. The anger…the wrath…the despair…the seething are all over the song…yet a remarkable melody manages to float through the backdrop of the entire thing…this is art!
Deathcrush-—Another seamless track that makes this release seem like one long song…if I have a criticism, it is the sameness of the entire thing…there is little variety to be found here…but the message is clear…they came to kick ass and take names…there is no other explanation needed…again, there is a nice rhythm melody running through the backdrop of this song…it makes it a damn near masterpiece…this is a classic and undisputed release.
Moonspell—-Perhaps one of the best known and fan favorite releases from this record, it is easy to see why it has stood the test of time. This is much more in the style that Behemoth has become known for…the dueling guitars…the maniacal drums…the guttural vocal…the song is huge…despite the lack of true production. I love this track…it has always been a favorite…just for the energy and darkness of it!
Bless Thee—-With a nice rhythm section intro, the song does have an almost marching feel to it…the guitars are huge…and the addition of occasional feedback and fuzz makes it even darker than you would think…this is excellent!
Nergal enters with his distinctive gut growl and twists the entire thing into something dark and evil…this is pure freak-in’ metal…no bones about it!
Pure Evil—-This has a bit of tin sound to the guitars…but you have to understand the early production I guess. I hate that the vocal is pushed way to the back of the mix…but it has progressed with subsequent release….I like this…but the sub par production takes what could have been a really great opus and made it a bit small.
Transylvania Forest—-This track is a barrage of noise coming at you through every side. You are inundated with huge sounds from every angle…the voice…the fast…speedy guitars…the drums….beat to a pulp….can you say Red Bull!!! This is an incredible track.
Homelands—-Another fairly well known track in certain circles that has stood the test of time, this is a signature song from this band.This has every element that you could desire…and the production is 1000 times better than expected. The layered vocals are a nice change and this is the Behemoth people love. This is machine gun styled music that will kick your ass into next week…..jeez I love Nergal!
Thy Writer—-Huge walls of sound…a very upfront production….wistful orchestration…..this is a huge track….I love the musical aspect of the entire thing. There are nice mood shifts on this track….it just does not rip your face off…but also makes you feel the music.
Surviving—-Melodic and pleasing to my palate, there is still an element of darkness that appeals to me. The guitars are huge…the vocal…much more in your face if moving as fast as the music….these bonus tracks are exceptional…leaving you wanting more and more!
Dark Triumph—-A bit dark and sludge filled for me…but the productive vocal saves the song for me…I like the rhythm of the song….it keeps pulling you more and more forward in your chair waiting for more…this is incredible! The guitar break is hard core…..the bass section kicks in and makes you want to smash your head in the wall.
Moonstation—-Coming out of the darkness with a strong guitar intro, this has art written all over it. I love the wall of noise this band manages to produce…add the voice and the wall is made out of indestructible brick. This ‘throw-away’ track is a freak in’ masterpiece…..all hail Nergal!
Ruse—-The onset of the track allows you to know this is an opus in the making….but instead becomes….
Aggressor—-One track becomes another and gives us this slow dark melodic masterpiece that showcases Nergal and his wist fullness to a tee. This is fantastic….the talk-singing is extraordinary….the deep tones of thje song are fantastic….the putrid vocal are almost vomited in your ears…how incredible!
Goat With 1000 Horns—-When this began….it made me think of King Diamond…..god damn fantastic track this one…I love the energy…the dark and the speed of the track. This is so much better produced than the earlier parts of this release….I could not as for more from this band. All Hail Nergal.
**** out of 5