Review Summary: Eighties-flavored pit stop
The release of singles or EP's between full-lengths is a common practice in the music business, they not only serve as proof of life but are also a vehicle to attract some money, and that's just fine by me, as everyone needs to make a living. Behemoth's A Forest
is one of those interim releases, consisting of two original songs orbiting around The Cure's cover (studio and live version). This track must have been relevant during Nergal's youth, or he simply thought it would have the attributes needed to give it a new, blackened outfit. I would say that the outcome of his impression of 1980's Robert Smith & Co song is artistically debatable, to say the least, much due to its somewhat sloppy interpretation. I understand Nergal meant to embed some organic, raw vibe into the song, but he took it a little too far. Both vocals seem to have been taken from two drunken teenagers and everything seems to have been carelessly recorded. One could say that's the very purpose of this cover, and I accept that, yet if we overcome the subjective barricade, it seems clear to me that Nergal has failed to incorporate a layer of memorability into his personal impression, or at least failed to make it timeless, unlike brilliant covers such as Priest's 'The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)' or Sanctuary's 'White Rabbit'. Nevertheless, if I may, I will now turn my narrative upside down and imply that something without the ability to be magnificent or timeless can still have enough qualities to be enjoyed. And unlike many people out there, I will not include 'A Forest' among the worst cover songs of all time, nor will I stone Nergal when I run into him on the street. I'll just quietly place the track on my "it should have been better"
shelf. I'm sorry, fellas, but I do love the song's chord progression. Yet not everything is wasteful in these nineteen minutes. If we move beyond the average 'Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha', which is nothing more than an inferior version of 'If Crucifixion Was Not Enough', we come across 'Evoe', undoubtedly the EP's highlight. Its high-caliber pre-The Satanist
riff is not only up to Behemoth's monstrous legacy, but also shows enough quality to have been included in I Loved You at Your Darkest
. And it's moments like this that leave me hopeful for Nergal's creative future, as he will soon have the arduous task of reversing the somewhat uninspired cycle of recent years.