BEHEMOTH has really made a name for themselves in the last five years. They have always had that die hard following since their straight Black Metal beginnings, but since the release of “Demigod” they have struck the iron while it’s hot and started moving towards a more mainstream notability. For some fans, this movement is for the worse and since they have become more of a Death Metal act with Black influences, there has been a divide in the ranks. As for myself, the last three albums have been pretty fucking sick, and “Evangelion” doesn’t make any effort to change that.
What impresses me the most about “Evangelion” is how BEHEMOTH is able to use the ‘push and pull’ tactic of musical writing so well. Of course, for those of you new to the world of the Polish titans of extremity, they are an intense listen for the majority of this release. Combining those massive Death Metal triplet riffs (at break neck speeds mind you) along with Blackened atmospheric leads and solos with a rhythm section intense enough to level most cities if allowed and the voice of Satan himself from the creepy and yet very intimidating layering of Nergal’s roar, then you get what BEHEMOTH is about most of the time. Every member is a master at their instrument, although I have to always give props to Inferno on the drum kit as his playing and writing is still some of the most intriguing and earth shattering musical attacks I have ever heard. But what makes “Evangelion” such a great addition to their already impressive catalog is that this is only one side of the album…this is just the push.
After songs that intensify that push element like the short and sweet “Shemhamforash” or the intense “Transmigrating Beyond Realms Ov Amenti”, there is the pull element of the album. This mostly has to do with the more atmospheric elements on “Evangelion” that BEHEMOTH use to counterbalance the push sections. Every song has its push/pull tactics like the opening of “Daimonos” or the very ghostly and barren sound of crows to introduce “He Who Breeds Pestilence”, but it’s the slower mid tempo songs that really pulled me in. The first single “Ov Fire And The Void” and the epic ending track “Lucifer” are prime examples of how the band slow it down and build on the slow burn elements to make those more intense tracks sound even more intense. It’s beautifully and brutally played out on “Evangelion” and makes this an amazing album.
It would seem that BEHEMOTH is only getting better with time. “The Apostasy” was a nice change of pace for the band (they tended to experiment a bit more on that on) but “Evangelion” is another slab of technical brutality to add to their already massive album list. BEHEMOTH are on the road to destroy all others in their path and this album is just another added weapon in their arsenal.
Songs to check out: “Ov Fire And The Flame”, “Daimonos”, “He Who Breeds Pestilence”.
(Online September 7, 2009)