Overall Score: 10/10 Songwriting / Concepts: 10/10 Production: 10/10 Atmosphere / Immersion: 10/10 Pros: An example of extreme genius. A new classic. Cons: Nothing negative can be said about any of it.
Well, surely it goes without saying this was always going to be a raw, absolute behemoth. Turns out it’s in parts slower, broodier and yet with equal apocalyptic darkness as past offerings. Proceedings begin with a fire that descends almost literally into Hell itself. Absolutely captivating and intriguing, I wait for the rest of the album with a certainty that it’ll continue to be incredible.
Look at the adjectives used in that first paragraph… it almost makes it harder to think of any more appropriate words to describe this superb black / extreme metal music in a way that gives you an idea of just what it sounds like this time. But of course, this is Behemoth, a band familiar and known for their highly crafted necrobutchery. This, their 10th main release, is a brutal summary of years of honing an almost ‘up with the peerless’ back catalog of material (and performances) over the last two decades. With a title such as ‘The Satanist’, it fuels the fire of the lyrical subject matter of their music that goes with their image and with good reason. For one, there cannot exist light without dark.
‘Messe Noire’ eventually drops into a Wylde-meets-Priest solo that you can’t help but drop the head too. Where the first opening three songs have taken my breath away, ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ almost takes my life away. Rhythm and riffs in a black melting pot quite literally cause my legs to tremble as I air drum along to what is guaranteed to be a live gateway to further dimensions.
Behemoth have come a long, long way in their time and some of their ideas, ideals and outputs have been inspirational, controversial and objective, even respected, which has led to them being not only a well known Polish export but a hugely popular name in their home country. Prior to this, their last three albums have been fantastic (2004’s ‘Demigod’, 2007’s ‘The Apostasy’ and 2009’s ‘Evangelion’) and have all been, as usual with bands I love and get a chance to review here, permanent in what I’ve listened to over the last decade.
On this release, though ‘Amen’ and ‘In the Absence ov Light’ are face-shredding and ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’ may be one of the best songs they’ve ever written, each has it’s personal merit and from one run, I couldn’t instantly pick a favourite. Is there any real point to even having a favourite? This is a collection of songs that really is best suited to a focused, uninterrupted session because ‘The Satanist’ is basically FUCKING brilliant. I have to say, I’d been putting off giving this album a listen as I wanted to be able to properly immerse myself, and with good reason. I’ve spent a lot of my life (and my money) playing with audio to get a sound that’s unlike most things I usually have to bear. So many beautiful and utterly dark sounds pretty much keep me rooted in the same position as I take it all in. We’ve got synths, sounds and a production sound that most would kill for. This incredibly poignant release is not in any way the faster-than-each-other-turbo-noise-fest that most other bands aim for these days but a mature, finely tuned composition of songs pulling influence and inspiration from bands all throughout time. For me, I still hear Priest, native brethrens Vader, Venom and Deicide underneath it all, perfectly re-arranged by the Polish lords. In truth I almost feel as if this would be the soundtrack for us all should the Earth be sucked through a devastating fire-funnel towards Hell.
A euphemism, perhaps considering the last 4 years have been darker for frontman Nergal (Adam Darski) and his battle with leukemia. Slowly improving, he has returned like a true fucking badass to bring an album that is not only a classic example of black metal perfection, but also an album steeped in majesty that would hold it’s own in a broader spectrum of style.
- [04:25] ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’
- [03:06] ‘Furor Divinus’
- [04:04] ‘Messe Noire’
- [05:35] ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’
- [03:49] ‘Amen’
- [05:33] ‘The Satanist’
- [05:35] ‘Ben Sahar’
- [04:58] ‘In the Absence ov Light’
- [07:13] ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’
[ Length : 44:18 ]