Review Summary: While maybe not reaching the expectations of some, Behemoth releases a solid blackened death metal album with plenty of material worth the listen. While not being a simply mind blowing album, it is very consistent for what metal heads need, fuckin metal!
Poland's blackened death metallers have returned and brought us "The Apostasy", the highly anticipated follow up to there 2005 release of "Demigod". Behemoth fans have been going nuts over this release, watching the short videos of their progress on the album over the net on myspace. Better yet, they have taken a non-rotating slot in this years Ozzfest lineup, giving them a solid amount of tour dates in the states. With all this anticipation, could they release another album that drew them so much attention as their previous ones?
I'll be honest the first time I listened through the album I wasn't entirely convinced. I thought it sounded older like on Zos Kia Cultus with Demigod influences. The material didn't sound original in the sense that nothing seemed new or unexpecting. It was only until I listened to it at a much louder volume that I realized the amazing potential of this album. The opening track is pretty lame either way, but it jumps right into the second track "Slaying the Prophets Ov Isa", which enters with the raging Inferno on the trap set. The track is solid with some predictable but entertaining riffage. They add a chorus in the background which sounds excellent with the rest of the band, and the solo at the end is quite good right to the end, which brings us to "Prometherion". This track truly blew my mind. You may call it boring but I love it regardless. The track begins with an odd but catchy combo of power chords but instantly enters into the verse, presenting a very catchy and evil core sound to this song. The lead guitars go to town on the chorus showing a very melodic and powerful side to Behemoth any fan would go crazy over. It's that good. This song doesn't repeat itself too bad, which is a good thing because there is a lot more to be heard on this track and album than we are giving credit for.
I could go on talking about each track but that would be pointless and boring, so I'll review the sound in general. I really like what Nergal did with the vocals on this album. Demigod's multi-layered vocals were great but these are more like a cross between ZKC and Demigod, but they sound amazing nonetheless and they're easier to understand. The drumming is always good with Behemoth these days but they did a fine job on this album. Faster and crazier, and I'd easily say Inferno has done his best so far. The guitars are good as always, but again I push that a lot of it is predictable to the point where you thought you almost heard one like it on Demigod or ZKC, but I give it credit still for sounding amazing. Nergal changes the distortion of the guitars for every album, and honestly I thought they sounded better on Demigod but either way it usually ends up sounding brutal. The melody that these guys use on this album is what stands out most to me, especially Prometherion and Arcana Hereticae, which have come to be my two favorite tracks, followed up by the brutality of Libertheme.
Did this album hit the spot to where it will make people forget about Demigod? No way in hell, but this album has the potential that Demigod has. It may be just as good, or even better. I think that Behemoth has provided us with great metal music over the years, and there was no way they could let us down with a bad release. They didn't, they released yet again another solid death metal album that could seriously make its spot in anyone’s collection of cd's. Just give it a few listens through, and if that doesn't work, turn up the volume.
Tracks I recommend:
At the Left Hand Ov God