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Behemoth - The Satanist review


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Band: Behemoth
Album: The Satanist
Release date: February 2014

Disc I
01. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
02. Furor Divinus
03. Messe Noire
04. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
05. Amen
06. The Satanist
07. Ben Sahar
08. In The Absence Ov Light
09. O Father O Satan O Sun!
10. Ludzie Wschodu [Siekiera cover] [Australian bonus]

Disc II [DVD] [deluxe box set version]
01. Live Barbarossa
    1 - Intro
    2 - Ov Fire And The Void
    3 - Demigod
    4 - Moonspell Rites
    5 - Conquer All
    6 - Christians To The Lions
    7 - The Seed Ov I
    8 - Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
    9 - Decade Of ΘΕΡΙΟΝ
    10 - At The Left Hand Ov God
    11 - Slaves Shall Serve
    12 - Chant For ΕΣΧΗΑΤΟΝ 2000
    13 - 23 (The Youth Manifesto)
    14 - Lucifer
02. The Satanist: Oblivion

What's my favorite scary movie? The Shining. With its subtle, psychological terror and slow-build that only Kubrick can pull off, it's a masterpiece. Sure, I get down with the gore-ridden creature features too. Everything from Evil Dead to Friday the 13th is cool in my book. Why is this relevant? Aliens. Okay, now you are more confused. Let me elaborate further. I think a lot of long-time fans come to a Behemoth album expecting a certain level of violence. Demigod, Thelema.6, Zos Kia Cultus; these classics are the "Aliens" of the Behemoth discography. Explosions, flame-throwers, disembowelment, "Game over man, game over!" I'm right with you, popcorn ready. The Satanist, on the other hand, is "Alien." Swarms of xenomorphs are replaced with a single, lurking threat in the shadows. The emphasis is on tension as each innocent is picked off one by one and dragged to their grim (and unseen) demise. While both styles are equally valid, I find the imagination to be a far darker place than anything directly fed to my senses.

I tend to rate an album along three criteria: enjoyability, musicianship, and innovation. I'll start with enjoyability. As a fan of thrillers, this album has it in spades. From the simple, catchiness of "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" to the cathartic cries of "O Father O Satan O Sun!", there is nary a moment that does not grip me to the core. I love this album with the exact same intensity I did the first time I listened to it. I still find myself frequently growling along to "Messe Noir" and playing double-bass under my desk to "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer." I may know that Dallas is going to die in those vents, but I'm still on the edge of my seat every time he goes in there.

Regarding musicianship, subtly wins me over in this department. What Alien lacks in creature effects, it makes up for with careful editing, cinematography, and pacing. The same can be said for The Satanist: it may not have the most technical guitar parts or original concepts, but damned if the songwriting doesn't know how to spin straw into gold. Rather than being symphonic in the bombastic sense of Dimmu Borgir or later Septicflesh, Behemoth take a more understated, chamber music approach. This atmosphere combines with the earworm melodies in such a way as to build something that is cohesive without losing a sense of what makes each track special.

I have already begun to allude to innovation in saying that the ideas here are not new. They are, however, a big step for the group. While much of the present territory was explored on Evangelion, it was not done with this level of mastery. Think back to the first time you saw that chestbuster burst from Kane's torso. Would that have been nearly as disturbing without the quiet dread building so long before? Dynamics are a big part of what makes The Satanist a slam dunk for me. The dreary, gothic and menacing parts make each crescendo hit that much harder. Those looking for a truncated example need look no further than the first single. The final moments of that track work so well only because of all the time spent lulling a certain hypnotic sense of fragile safety. This is in stark contrast to the more balls-to-the-wall approach of albums like Demigod.

In the end, this is a well-deserved 10. Those familiar with my Metal Archives reviews know that I don't give out too many, but the The Satanist soars on black wings with its staying power, songwriting, and dynamic progression. Those looking for something more blunt and direct would be better served elsewhere, but fans of Ridley Scott and Giger (RIP) will rejoice at the slow burn. In space, you CAN hear Nergal scream.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 10

Written by flightoficarus | 09.02.2015

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Not too many bands could throw a spoken-word, Kenny G sax muzak thing into the middle of a song called "In The Absence Ov Light" and not get laughed away into obscurity. Behemoth can get away with shit like that. They're just too cool to be dismissed. They sound cool and, with a theatrical sense that rivals well over half a Lady Gaga, they LOOK cool. I mean, I'm not gay, but I'd let Nergal and Orion double team me if they still want to.

published 12.02.2014 | Comments (215)

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 41   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 203 users
10.02.2015 - 03:30
Stamp Tramp
I liked it better when people were arguing about how this album sucks. Where did gender and homeland come into this :-P. Obviously it is the Satanist spell.
Daily underground metal recommendations at Metal Trenches.
Listen to the Trench Talk podcast.
10.02.2015 - 03:33
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by flightoficarus on 10.02.2015 at 03:30

Where did gender and homeland come into this :-P.

Via garmling who said something about pms
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

10.02.2015 - 03:45
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Always entertaining when there are divergent reviews written. Well done. For the record, this is my favourite Behemoth album as well. I came very late to the show, with this album being the first Behemoth album I ever got. Loved it and was initially rating it a 10 but dropped that back to a 9.
The sun shines over The Fool...
10.02.2015 - 03:49
Account deleted
Well, now the quality of the conversation matches the quality of the album.
10.02.2015 - 15:12
Stamp Tramp
Written by Guest on 10.02.2015 at 03:49

Well, now the quality of the conversation matches the quality of the album.

Daily underground metal recommendations at Metal Trenches.
Listen to the Trench Talk podcast.
10.02.2015 - 15:12

Written by flightoficarus on 09.02.2015 at 19:57

Written by Guest on 09.02.2015 at 19:55

"This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff."

Who the fuck cares about the point of view of MS staff? I don't, especially when I see that 6 rating review of theirs! AND MORE so when I see their lists of favorite albums from last year! Awful tastes imo! This album is a fucking MASTERPIECE! I love every and single part of it and it is probably my favorite from entire Behemoth discography! It is innovative, it has great production and it is hell of a ride... Great and well written review man, you've done this album justice it deserves!

Thanks. I felt like we needed an alternate perspective. I see valid points for both sides, so having reviews on both extremes seems warranted. I am sure not all of the comments will be quite so warm, but I could care less. Flame on, people.

I really love this album tho it took me some time I confess this love

Yet, no offence meant to the reviewer, but please, please, can you forget this strange habit of yours to mix up an album review with either horror movies or burgers ? Half your review is about comparing the album to movies and to me it just makes no sense. This is my opinion tho, others may like that side of your review
14.02.2015 - 05:01
Arcesse Eum

I've heard this album a handful of times, and I can safely say... this review tells me nothing about the music itself.
As above, so below.
16.02.2015 - 15:06

I can think of a few more people to add to the not really enlightened ones though. Love the let's contradict the idiot by being an even bigger idiot attitude. Makes for a fun read.

As for the album, it is one of Behemoth's best, although it's definitely not a 10. Definitely not a 6 either though. The average does seem like a good depiction of the album.
16.02.2015 - 16:16
X-Ray Rod
Written by flightoficarus on 10.02.2015 at 15:12

Written by Guest on 10.02.2015 at 03:49

Well, now the quality of the conversation matches the quality of the album.


Please tell me that was a Daria reference. In that case I will respect you more as I don't agree with your review.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
25.02.2015 - 15:01


I drink moosepiss
09.06.2015 - 14:52

Probably the best Behemoth album. Mature and fuckin addictive!

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