Furthering their progression from black metal into death metal, Behemoth’s most underrated release Pandemonic Incantations
was certainly that delved into the world of both genres while experimenting with elements that Behemoth would later master. Riffs are suddenly much heavier. Lead guitar is much more prominent. Nergal’s voice is more of a deep shout instead of a high raspy scream, and the band’s themes seem to have taken an eastern approach rather than Slavic cultures. The chants and eastern approach of Diableria
are a fitting introduction for a new beginning for the band. It was in this album that Behemoth began to truly take shape into the unique and original band they are now.
This review will be short and to the point for a variety of reasons. I’ll try not to beat around the bush here.
With their third effort, Behemoth successfully littered a raw metal album with brutality and a dark melodic edge. This is easily some of the craftiest blackened death metal ever created, a genre that all too often becomes subject to extreme repetition. Some synth effects and ambience are fiddled with (namely In Thy Pandemaeternum
in a manner preceding that which was honed to perfection on Thelema.6
. Instruments are taken to new technical levels amplifying the abovementioned melodic side that this album excels in, as in the excellent Driven by the Five-Winged Star
. The Past is Like a Funeral
is a faster and more chaotic side of the album, throwing in tremolo picked madness with a brighter acoustic backing.
Above all, this album is their strongest glimpse yet into the death metal world. Pandemonic Incantations
shows that they’ve risen beyond any shallow black metal expectations people held in the past to prove just how multi-dimensional they are. Brand new experiences are joined with their most extreme style of writing yet to produce an album with a blend of genres and a basis of creativity and execution that past albums lacked. This is easily the most overlooked of all of Behemoth’s fine albums due to circumstances regarding their label and financial standing; however, let no lack of hype turn you away from a record of good metal. Behemoth’s later death metal days have become famous for the depth and originality involved in the writing, and Pandemonic Incantations
is the beginning of that incredible legacy.
¢ In Thy Pandemaeternum
¢ Driven By The Five-Winged Star
¢ With Spell of Inferno
¢ A new, creative side of the band
¢ Higher level of playing than usual
¢ Raw, yet heavy and experimental
¢ Lack of production clarity
¢ Some inconsistency among songs