Review Summary: How can a demigod be so grievously wounded so soon after releasing such a godly album?
Blackened death metal act Behemoth
, hailing from the great land of Poland, was put on hiatus when frontman Nergal was hospitalised soon after the release of "Evangelion". Have no fear, though, brothers, as you cannot kill a demigod! Unless you use chaos-type weapons from the Fel Orcs... sorry, nerd moment.
Getting back to the topic at hand, the Polish act has had one hell of a time, both in studio and onstage, and have released a total of over twenty-five media CDs. The most recent of these, the previously-mentioned "Evangelion", is a marvel in both the integration of pagan ideals in songwriting and a sound that is both skull-crushingly heavy and undoubtedly some of the best melodic death metal material you'll hear anywhere. Between the inspiring chorus of Daimonos
and the torturing melodies of album closer Lucifer
, you'll not find a drought of headbanging within this record. "Evangelion" successfully builds upon the foundation that "The Apostasy", the band's previous release, set up. The carefully-planned riffs in Ov Fire and the Void
will cause many to reminisce back to "At the Left Hand ov God", and the drum-centred intro to "Transmigrating Beyond Realms ov Amenti" will bring you back to the killer track Demigod
. While Behemoth leaves behind many a trace of their black metal origins in instrumental form, Nergal's vocals are spat more crisply and roughly than ever before (especially within Shemhamforash
), which, coupled with the stylistic guitars and Inferno's heavy double-bass drums make for such an arcane mix of death and black to fittingly be labeled as 'blackened death'.
The album isn't without faults, however. Certain tracks don't hold the same allure as album headliners Daimonos
and Ov Fire and the Void
. The track The Seed ov I
, for instance, is rarely listened to, especially when I could spend time pleasing my ears with melodies like "Alas, the Lord is Upon Me". That being said, even the filler track(s) in the album aren't bad by any means necessary - they just don't hold up too well when compared to other tracks in the same record. I'm also not a personal fan of black metal-heavy screaming as a song closer, as featured in Shemhamforash
. It just doesn't seem like a good way to end a track, and I wouldn't normally associate Behemoth with it, even if "Demigod", one of their best records, included it as their title track's closer.
Filler track(s?) aside, "Evangelion" is an incredible record. It earned its "Official Steven Stamp ov Awesomeness", reserved exclusively for Behemoth records, as soon as the finale track "Lucifer" uttered its last, grave whispers. Enjoy the album, guys.