Yes, it's a day late. Well guess what, I'm in university, I've got midterms and not much time. But I love you bastards enough to write a proper review.
WHY CAN'T I DO THIS PUNCTUALLY?!
Behemoth is back! And they're back to their black metal roots, moving away from death metal a bit for the majority of the album and experimenting a bit. And this one's extra special because it's the first album since the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Nergal was put on trial for ripping a Bible in Poland in 2010 and being diagnosed with leukemia the same year. He's since beaten leukemia after getting a bone marrow transplant, and now he's written some of the angriest material Behemoth has ever played. Now, are you ready for some face melting?
Like I mentioned, this is the angriest thing I've heard so far this year. Considering how much thrash and death metal I listen to, that's pretty impressive. The album opens with an atmospheric song, "Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel" and honestly, it's alright. It's definitely the easiest song to get into on the album for non fans, but where the album really picks up is "Messe Noire". Holy shit does it sound evil! Literally one of the first things you hear is Nergal screaming, "I believe in Satan," which kind of fits considering his recent nihilistic outlook on life.
Right after that is the somewhat melodic and incredible "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer", which loosely translates to "Pray for Us Lucifer." Now, if you don't think that's dark, I can probably bash your head into something resembling a human's if you want. But maybe you don't want something dark, evil and something that wouldn't sound out of place in a horror movie. I'd suggest another album entirely, but if you're dead set on this one then you have to listen to "O Father, O Satan, O Sun", the closing track. Yes, it's about devil worship, but it's very calm and made with some really neat harmonies. It's brooding, but strangely uplifting at times, as if Nergal wrote it in a passing-into-the-afterlife kind of way. It's full of metaphors! It's like talking to Bones from the original Star Trek there's so many!
But you didn't come to me to hear why an album is good (I hope), and it really isn't perfect. It's definitely black metal so the recording isn't top notch all around and a handful of tracks are kind of stale, especially "In the Absence ov Light". It plods along like a donkey with its hooves cut off because nothing new happens and you might as well just keep going past it. And there are mistakes on it too! Yes, Nergal is saying it's more "raw" this way, but sometimes I'd rather have a more polished product. Maybe I'm just not cut to be truly kvlt. Don't feel like being a fascist asshole anyways...
Overall though, it's a great record. Most of the tracks would be stand-outs on any other black or death metal album, but since this is a really exceptional one, in most ways, I can't help but recommend it. Why the fuck do I keep recommending albums! It's been nothing but good stuff the entire time, minus that torturous St. Anger review. I still get PTSD flashbacks from that...