I don’t know what the hell has happened to me. There was a time when I would get an album like this new one The Satanist (out February 4 via Metal Blade Records) from Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH and not even give it a chance. Because, for the millionth time, this music is generally NOT my taste at all. But something changed late last year, maybe it was DEICIDE’S In the Minds of Evil that cracked the door open, who knows. Because the next thing I know I’m really digging that one as well as albums from bands like THE KENNEDY VEIL, and now BEHEMOTH. I got The Satanist a little over a week ago and there is something about it that just drew me in from the very first listen.
“Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” was a favorite almost instantly, as was epic closer “O Father O Satan O Sun!” I could almost feel myself being dragged down into the underbelly of Hell and welcoming it during those seven minutes. Other songs like “Amen” employ a steady diet of blast beats to go with Adam “Nergal” Darski’s hellish growls. The overall sonic landscape of this record is something else! Ominous bass tones combined with the churning guitars straight from the Underworld blanket the title track and also my ABSOLUTE favorite “The Satanist”. This one got played over and over on the first day, and continues to be my go-to on the album. “In the Absence ov Light” is like a car crash at the moment of impact and then goes eerily quiet for a spoken word section before the wreck of twisted metal impacts us one more time. I told you this stuff was powerful.
Of course opener “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” is another winner, as it sets an evil tone the rest of the album has to, and certainly does, live up to. Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski , Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński , Patryk Dominik “Seth” Sztyber (bass, drums, and guitar respectively) all follow Nergal’s lead and take the listener somewhere he or she may not be expecting, or be ready to go to, and that’s one of the things that make this such an excellent record. It’s like these guys do NOT give a fuck and they just went for it, and you can hear that on this and “Furor Divinis”. And as far as dark songs go, you’d be hard pressed to find one that tops “Ben Sahar”. If it’s venom you’re looking for, the opening line “I BELIEVE IN SATAAAAN!” from “Messe Noire” will certainly satisfy that craving in spades, as will the rest of the song, believe me.
As someone who is new to BEHEMOTH I’m not even sure I can do this album justice with my review. All I know is that before I knew what hit me I had this fucking thing on REPEAT for half a workday. The Satanist is an album that will utterly consume and compel the listener over the course of nine songs and is without a doubt going to be featured on many a year end Top Albums list, maybe even one of mine.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM