Behemoth
Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)


3.5
great

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2005 | 38 replies | 10,677 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Just as the name implies, Behemoth began like a rabid beast, playing sadistic black metal. While a very expressive form of music like much black metal, Behemoth seemed to favor an abundant onslaught of sounds with a raw aggression instead of minimalism. If you’re expecting a fiery barrage of furious blast beats and tortured screams, you’re right. If you’re expecting repetitive simplicity and an hour of linear music, you’re far from the truth. Sventevith is an interesting blend of eastern themes, hatred of Christianity, raw elements, and creative musicianship. Intriguing would be an understatement for an album such as this. Black metal bands always seemed to be categorized very rigorously. You’re either a melodic black metal band, or you’re raw black metal, or you’re symphonic black metal, and so on. Behemoth confines themselves to no boundaries. They combine all of the aforementioned traits into one of my all-time favorite black metal albums.

I’m sure most people reading this are interested for two reasons. One, they like new Behemoth, or two, they’re fascinated by the roots of popular bands. Either way, Sventevith will surprise you. This isn’t some kind of watered-down or mainstream sounding metal. This is true, raw, aggressive black metal. Nergal’s shrieks could trigger unexplainable bleeding in Christian minds. The riffs are fast and dark with suitable, blasting drums. Essentially, this is black metal, no questions asked. The only questions may come from those wondering “how did they go from this to Demigod?"

The album’s many dimensions come from the vast array of effects and melodies used throughout the writing. Behemoth used somber synth effects and some ambience (see Ancient) to create an aura of admonition as well as a sense of ancient suffering and memories, spawned from Behemoth’s inspirations of religious revulsion and historical undertakings. Acoustic guitars such as that in The Touch of Nya are dispersed throughout the album to accent this feel with folk elements. Every characteristic of this Baltic-storming anthem comes together in a rather primal yet epic performance. While The Chant From the Eastern Land sounds like something Emperor may have written during their days with Enslaved, Hell Dwells in Ice is a journey of emotional melodic black metal. To balance out this spectrum, vicious songs such as From the Pagan Vastlands and the terrorizing Transylvanian Forest provide the reminiscent sounds of the Norwegian musical extraction extraction.

Sventevith is a landmark. Behemoth is known mostly for their later death metal days, but their early black metal albums remain compositions of some of the world’s finest black metal. This album gets regular plays for me every time I feel the need for black metal. Interests are aroused by such a mixture of musical elements and creativity. Sventevith is one of Behemoth’s many albums that show just how much meaning the band derives from their music. Every song and every lyric has some sort of symbolism for them. If you can’t tell it now and you couldn’t understand it back in their black metal days, then maybe Behemoth isn’t for you. But for the rest, they are one of metal’s most deserving bands of what little praise they garnish for their determination to produce superior metal from pagan vastlands.

A few recommended listens:
‡ From the Pagan Vastlands
‡ Entering the Faustian Soul
‡ Transylvanian Forest

Pros:
‡ Raw black metal at its finest
‡ Mixtures of elements
‡ Great variation in the music

Cons:
‡ Poor production may be unnerving
‡ Succumbs to black metal simplicity



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user ratings (157)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jawaharal
December 3rd 2005



1832 Comments


this band is good everynow and then. I dont' like the vocals too much though.

good review too.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2005



15727 Comments


Im not sure if u did it on purpose, but please fix the mammoth paragraph.

Digging: A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent

Shadows
Moderator
December 3rd 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. Yeah, I know about the formatting, it's fixed.

Great album!

Priestmetal
December 3rd 2005



542 Comments


Havn't heard their black metal stuff but apparently their death metal stuff is much better. Pretty good review.

Aakon_Keetreh
December 3rd 2005



448 Comments


i just bought this cd a few days ago...its really good

Shadows
Moderator
December 4th 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Many comsider their black metal to be better then their death, mainly because this stuff is much less excessable. I prefer the newer stuff anyway.

Blindguardian
December 5th 2005



186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I would like to point out that I am Christian, yet this album triggered no 'unexplainable bleeding' in my mind. Shame 'cause I was rather looking forward to it. Nevertheless, your review was great and the album (which I bought based on the review) is equally outstanding.

Shadows
Moderator
December 5th 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, hahha, I was of course kidding about the Christian bleeding thing.

You bought the album based on this review? Wow, thanks for putting faith in me. It's nice to know people actually trust my opinion. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Blindguardian
December 5th 2005



186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm used to blind faith, I'm christian remember?
In any case, I downloaded From the Pagan Vastlands first, but yeah, mostly it was because of the review.

Dancin' Man
December 5th 2005



719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ehhh.... Death Metal Behemoth > Black Metal Behemoth

All Behemoth > Grom Behemoth though.

Shadows
Moderator
December 6th 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Grom is most definitely the worst, but I still like it. It had strong points.

diefamous
February 13th 2006



281 Comments


a christian listening to sadistic black metal..... seems like an oxy moron to me


k4t4lyst
June 9th 2006



201 Comments


I'm Christian too, I just like dark stuff...dunnoe why really. For example, I like my avatar because it's dark, not because i'm satanic. (Not to mention the game it's from is good :D)

Good Review! I love the little symbols you tend to use next to the pros/cons etc.

k4t4lyst
June 9th 2006



201 Comments


Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I like metal/death metal/black metal because of how heavy it is, and also because i'm a drummer...and death/black metal is challenging.

Zyhaal
January 28th 2010



193 Comments


Shadows, you are one of the the best reviewers on SM. I check out albums from your reviews often.

TheSpirit
January 28th 2010



17142 Comments


Shadows hasn't been around for over two years, so he probably won't be seeing your comments

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

R6Rider
January 28th 2010



4467 Comments


yeah, ya jackass!

Digging: Rort - Warpath

Zyhaal
February 20th 2010



193 Comments


review sounds like a 4 to me. Still, gotta check this out!

FadeToBlack
February 20th 2010



10913 Comments


this is actually a great black metal album, probably the best Behemoth album imo

DestroyHim
January 6th 2011



173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

some of the acoustic guitar in this could have been replaced by orchestral instruments or keys. they use keys on some tracks and it adds an epic atmosphere to what would otherwise sound like a really cheap home recording (which it probably is anyway). anyway, i like it, it hits most of the bases when it comes to black metal.



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