There are very few albums out there from which every single song can be called a favorite. Each track from EMPEROR's “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk,” for example, is prone to get stuck in my head, beckoning me to return to that album for another go. The latest long-player from Finland's BEHEXEN, for me at least, has become one of those albums. I can't remember the last album I listened to so many times in such a short period of time.
And of course there is reason to this. “My Soul For His Glory” is a fresh mix of the best Black Metal has to offer. Dirty riffing and blasts serve only as the necessary filler to make the majority of this album sound even sweeter. Most songs feature this formula of faster sections giving way to slower, mid-paced sections. “Born in the Serpent of the Abyss” is a prime example of this, as it transitions from blasting chaos, to a mid-paced groove, and then into a sonic landscape of chanting, backed by the very audible bass, and even an emotional guitar solo. The following “Demonic Fleshtemple,” however, provides memorable moments at a consistently fast pace.
As just mentioned, the bass is not only well-represented, it plays a role almost equal to the guitars, often playing its own harmony and deepening this already profound work of “orthodox” Black Metal. The Finnish sound is known for its heavy bass, but BEHEXEN work it into a production quite similar to that of “Casus Luciferi” and “Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice” (again with the orthodoxy). Guitar leads waft like ether above the heavy rhythm section, while the drumming never stagnates.
We all have those individual songs we love to go back to again and again to give just one more listen. The same notion applies to this entire album. That statement alone speaks for the quality songwriting presented here. Tapping into the darkest emotions, “My Soul For His Glory” sustains a cathartic ebb and flow. Daily it beckons me to another satisfying listen. We're halfway through 2008 and so far nothing has topped this. It's got another six months before it might join ABORYM ('06) and DEATHSPELL OMEGA ('07) for my “Album of the Year” certification.
(Online July 26, 2008)