Written by: EW on 17/11/2009 19:19:36

And so, coupled with the new Nile review is my review of Behemoth circa 2009, representing the newest LPs of two of the most highly respected and genre-pushing bands of today. Like Nile, I view Behemoth as coming off the back of one of their weakest albums in some time, 2007's "The Apostasy", a disappointment extra so considering my affection to the Poles which extends back to the release of 2002's brilliant "Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)" and a whole slew of devastating live performances in the meantime.

The similarities to Nile don't just end at a correlating release schedule and the band's positions within the genre. A million miles from the band's black metal beginnings, Behemoth are today the epitome of hyper-technical death metal, hyper-serious about the message they aim to spread, weaving anti-religious tales and mythology in a tapestry that melds Nergal's sore-throat vocals, the band's breakneck complex rhythms and some serious skin-bashing courtesy of longtime drummer Inferno. Notice any connection to Nile?

Where these two giants do differ most greatly is found in the black metal upbringing of Nergal, and Behemoth, and its influence on the band's current output. "He Who Breeds Pestilence", "Lucifer" and "Alas, The Lord Is Upon Me" are the most blatant examples at any point in recent years of BM's atmosphere seeping into the death/black metal blast that has more recently taken over the collective soul of Behemoth. With this we get the delicious concoction of death metal's brutality and technicality and the evil nihilistic spirit of prime-time Mayhemic BM, and ultimately the reason for Behemoth's rapid ascent since the turn of the millennium from when they have seen off highly noteworthy attempts (Belphegor, Anaal Nathrakh just to mention two) as the best demonstration in combining the ugly, chaotic worlds of black and death metal.

Explaining why I haven't found the same satisfaction in "The Apostasy" and "Demigod" in relation to "Zos Kia Cultus" and it's predecessor "Thelema.6" is difficult, and anyway, probably not a view I expect many of you out there share with me. Father time will be the answer as to whether "Evangelion" manages to reverse that downward trend, yet I am confident that it will. Where the most recent releases have had their moments ("Slaves Shall Serve", "Prometherion") they have become obscured in a wash of over-intensity and too much blasting. Here Behemoth have learned from those mistakes and created an album that knows how to blast the skin off your face, but one which also shows a pleasingly willingness to show the band's strength at slower tempos.

And in respect to the new Nile? Well, that's too close to call - you'll have to buy both and decide for yourself.


Download: Ov Fire And The Void, Defiling Morality Ov Black God, Transmigrating Beyond Realms Ov Amenti
For The Fans Of: Nile, Belphegor, Anaal Nathrakh, Vader
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 07.08.2009
Nuclear Blast Records

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