This could mean different things to different people. When talking about music intensity doesn’t have to be viewed as ‘Br00tal’ music, it can mean an array of things. Atmospheric, Epic and Powerful all come to mind when you think of intensity and here lies to the problem with Behemoth’s last release ‘The Apostasy’. It simply lacked all the things I have mentioned above, particularly in the weaker songs. Nergal’s growls in songs like ‘Be without fear’ and ‘Inner Sanctum’ lacked any real depth or power behind them leaving a very flat and monotonous feeling. Dare I say it lacked any of that fire or passion that accompanied with Demigod, even if it was layered as hell.
Fear not, however because here is ‘Evangelion’ to fix everything. This is by far the most atmospheric Behemoth record to date. There were always touches of atmosphere even if it did come across as a bit cheesy, but this time around Behemoth really have stepped up to the plate here. The inclusion of an orchestra really helped with this; there have been bands which have tried this in the past and came across as ridiculously cheesy, or even worse, woeful (Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth instantly come to mind). However Behemoth have used this very tastefully, never once going over the top with theatrics or show thus producing an album which you can feel, giving it extra life and tension to the music.
Nergal’s vocal improvement to me is one of the standout points to the entire album. This is the first Behemoth album where you could point out Nergal as an essence of the band. Sure he has always been a competent vocalist, but this time around he really brings more depth and power, something which he has been hinting at for quite some time. Gone completely are the vocal effects and what you have is a drastically improved vocal performance which gives Evangelion the fire and passion The Apostasy never really had. This really equals to the intense, brutal Demigod with Nergal’s vocals alone Whether u may agree or not, Behemoth has always been since Demigod a somewhat unique band given the fan base they have built up. One main reason for this is Nergal’s vocals are none other than that I have heard from the genre. Some may like or completely despise them but theres no doubt that Nergal has fully exploited his vocal range this time around giving a somewhat unique and epic sound to Evangelion.
As well as tremendous atmosphere and powerful vocals, Evangelion is an album which has an aggressive nature but makes way for some much more varied songwriting and cohesive ideas. There are indeed the balls out ultra aggressive songs on this album we have come to known from Behemoth and they have really perfected that style this time around. ‘Shemhamforash’ and ‘Alas, the Lord is upon me’ seem like the perfect blend of the aggressive Demigod with the more technical Apostasy. The solos in particular have in part improved, they seem more personal and written for the song rather than a neat little solo just to finish the song off. However instead of just literally recreating the songs we know Behemoth are capable of, they have really expanded their song writing ideas to the next level. The closing track ‘Lucifer’ is the perfect example of this, starting off very slowly and atmospheric with tribal drums played in the background, Orchestrial music is used to great effect here creating the Middle Eastern feeling that Behemoth has failed to create in the past. The end result is one of the slowest songs Behemoth have ever done yet, one of the most atmospheric and powerful; probably the best closing track they have done in their career.
This album overall is without a doubt Behemoth’s most complete work, Inferno still has the vast array of blast beats and jaw dropping fills but is much more varied and interesting, even slowing down at points when needed, it’s a real pleasure to listen to and shows why he is Behemoth’s biggest asset. Whilst I feel this won’t change the minds of people who dislike the band, for anyone who has been a fan of Behemoth, particularly their latest works this is an almost perfect record, living up to and surpassing all expectations creating possibly the album of Behemoth’s career.