Review Summary: Behemoth take their influences further, while keeping their distorted assault intact, and what does this recipe of disaster bode? A debris of sluggish and forced brutality which again proves Behemoth aren't too serious in overcoming themselves.
Usually, one wouldn’t say the following, but upon dissection of “The Apostasy
”, the name entitling Behemoth
’s 9th full-length studio album, I’m not entirely convinced. Many bands are giving their albums obvious names these days just to get their point across upon first glance, and if I don’t have to work between the lines, all the better. As for Polish titans, they’re a little late on the announcement, considering the band weren’t exactly devout in any way from the beginning. Apostasy can most appropriately be defined as the total renouncement or abandonment of ones religion, principles, beliefs or party, and frankly, I was aware of such “apostatizing” a while ago from Behemoth
’s part. Aside from the lyrical content, the quartet persists in conveying sinisterness and misanthropy in their music. Even before Satanica, the band would torment those who devoted their ears, having transitioned to a medley of Death and Black Metal, rather than being based on solely the latter. The Apostasy
now takes their hodgepodge of Nile and ancient Egyptian influences even further, and after coming to learn that such influences were present in previous material, I ask myself, where the *** have I been? Who’s to say they were salient in the first place, when now the contrast between previous albums shows us how they’re exploitation was rather too subtle. But, are Behemoth barking up the wrong tree with their newfound sound?
Their previous effort, “Demigod”, was obsequious, and if it’s mind-blowing thelemy and a kick of dazzling musicianship did not scare much out of your living soul, then you’re going to need toothpicks for your eyes with what’s coming. With “The Apostasy
’s” long-winded delivery, you apparently haven’t heard it all. The former ideology is still present, however much is covered about unknown gods. The pick-ups render the tone of many Behemoth
songs as weighty and regal, giving a very heavily distorted doomsday atmosphere. Nevertheless, it is no different for 2007’s outing; and a row of albums featuring nothing but the same will not invite for the most versatile discographical experience. Behemoth
does not eclipse what they have done previously, and they won’t unless they focus more on actually playing well, and playing something that can be digested. If you want the meat, then as far as I’m concerned, the heavyweights have got to get down to brass tacks.
Pretty much everything is recycled, where most innovation goes down the drain. Not even the theme of the album, which picks up from where the preceding album left off features anything new, not to mention the lack of a kick in the long run. Time can't work its magic, considering I find it extremely difficult to glue to this album even after several weeks of run-throughs. It’s a snooze-fest, being nowhere near as dynamic as it needs to be, and even Inferno can’t display his potential when guitar leads from the other end are confining him to a dominant riff. For the band themselves, “Demigod” was deemed an assault, while Nergal discloses in a later interview, “I pretty much isolated myself from the whole scene for a few months and ultimately created a new record that is destined to become the definitive Behemoth
release”. This seems a contradictory return to their 2003 opus “Zos Kia Cultus”, which was a much more mellow and melodious aspect of Behemoth
. If one can’t notice Behemoth
trying to overcome themselves everytime in brutality and extreme metal, then it’s misinterpreting their intentions. Then again, come a new year full of opportunities, the band doesn’t even embody their own qualities. “This band has never been as strong as it is nowadays, because we have nothing left to lose,” Nergal says during an interview upon the release of “Demigod”. What the troupe is holding on the line is dependant on subjectivity, and as much as I loved “Demigod” in it being straightforward, this 2007 release doesn’t cut it when it comes to going beyond to a definitive Behemoth
features vocal choirs in At The Left Hand ov God
, Inner Sanctum
with the talent from one of the best Polish jazz pianists and a vocal snippet from Nevermore’s Warrel Dane, while Arcana Hereticae
showcases a trumpet trio (Trumpet, Trombone and French Horn). Nergal’s vocals aren't layered anymore, but in turn sound raspier and deeper. Unrelenting distortion and illustration of these aforementioned gods is what gives a plausible identity to each of these songs. The tone of the album is eerie, but adding more leads and heavier riffs wouldn't be depleting any of the sentimental aspects of this album. Ultimately, anti-Christianity is inscribed between the lines.
I ask myself, is this queue of albums making a point? Aside from a poetic “in your face” delivery, Behemoth
are leaving behind distinct remnants of their style and history. They don’t quite stand up to many bands, such as Nile themselves in their oriental flow. A heavy doomsday atmosphere, and repetition is what makes this band what it is, and possibly invites controversy. However, some things are meant to be said honestly, and personally, the recurring instances don’t do it for me. If it weren’t for some stand-out moments, I could see this being one of the worse albums this year. Mark my words and get Zos Kia if you want the better package and version of Behemoth’s latest 2007 release.
- Slaying the Prophets ov Isa (4.5/5)
- Arcana Hereticae (3.5/5)
- Prometherion (3.5/5)