Vera : The steady advance of hard-working Behemoth was in 2009 crowned by a contract with Nuclear Blast that released their majestic ’Evangelion’ album. Fate hit hard in 2010 when Nergal faced a perilous battle against leukaemia. He won that battle, helped by his huge perseverance and discipline. The return of the Polish band to the stage was followed by the creation of the next studio album ‘The Satanist’. It is obvious that Nergal (and Behemoth) got purified out of these strenuous days, that is probably why ‘The Satanist’ appears to be just a little bit more intense and overwhelming than its illustrious yet equal amazing predecessors.
Only the title is already a statement like fury. Confident and proud, this is not an announcement of a cheap blasphemous flirt, but the vision of a personality that looks life straight into the eyes, while choosing his own path, crushing many taboos on his way. This philosophy is illustrated in the wealthy, with ultimate precision created music. In this respect they do not leave anything to chance, you notice that in the list of people who were involved (recorded at Hertz Studio with brother W., co-produced by Daniel Bergstrand, mixed by Matt Hyde, mastering at Sterling Sound (US) and numerous guest musicians). In addition we hear orchestration op top of the fury and even wind instruments (horns, trombone) loom up.
However, it is the final result that will give us an unforgettable listening experience or not. And they managed to impress us with brilliance, although it demands several spins before the charm of any conversant and recognizable parts pops up. Above all this album is dark, it builds up a kind of minatory feel with rather slow paced songs and it draws influences from various genres. Blackened death metal remains the manual, but it digs deeper than ever. In that respect we think of the classical heavy metal guitar soloing which has found its way to several songs. All these elements have been the recipe of Behemoth for quite some time, yet they always amaze us with their (r)evolutionary music.
With the flourish of trumpets we enter the renewed Behemoth universe. ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’ happens to be massive and compelling, while Nergal’s raucous voice proclaims with intelligible grunt. The multilayered music goes towards an acceleration where sinister choirs loom up. As a mountain stream that takes all sediments with him on its way, it goes towards the first apotheosis. Equally intense and dense is the fast ‘Furor Divinus’ and this divine fury bombard us with hectic ornaments in the background (but clear in the mix). During ‘Messe Noire’ it gets obvious that this comeback is nothing but overwhelming, but suddenly we are charmed by a melodic guitar solo that, fortunately, goes on for a while. A feeling of grandeur is typical, that is what we think during the rebellious ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’, during the numerous breaks and turns with great soloing as provisional grip. The fluttering passages in ‘Amen’ are very menacing and the outburst of blasphemy extreme, followed by a fervent acceleration. We might call the title track fetching with momentum. Horns are present again in the whole thing, but the guitar solo is mixed in the front. Epic and grand, the dark atmosphere is once again illustrated by ‘Ben Sahar’ and the ultra rough ‘In The Absence Ov Light’ in which a bluntly spoken part with acoustic guitars suddenly interrupts the heaviness. The symbolism of the video clips ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’ and ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ is already strongly present in the music, especially in the epic occluding track ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’ (traditionally a bit longer). Captivating and worshipping it means the end of an album that will leave you breathless and speechless. By the way, same goes for their recent shows.