Revelations of a Music Junkie
Monday, November 30, 2009
BEHEMOTH is a force to be reckoned with; so intense and violent, it may leave a blood stain on the music world for years to come. This Polish Blackened-Death metal band has done a damn good job of creating an out-of-bounds hell for the average listener. The music’s ugly but with hints of absolute beauty, crass but far smarter than any other band playing music today. Songs whose lyrics are ridden with bits and pieces of orchestration and progressive elements from various pagan subcultures like our own Hinduism , Buddhism , the Egyptian religion and the Greco-Roman beliefs. Backed by a thunderstorm of riffs (courtesy Seth and Orion ) and rapid, machine-gun double bass or sometimes quad-bass drumming ( >300 BPM , courtesy Inferno ) which characterise each of their 9 studio albums as an extreme metal classic work , these guys are truly behemoths of the extreme metal genre in their own right.
It’s hard to describe music this brutal; if extreme metal is not appealing to you I would suggest you run… now. Run far, far away. For the rest of us: rejoice. Songs like ‘No Sympathy of Fools’ , ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ and ‘Ov Fire and the Void’ when played on loud speakers at full volume transport the listener to a whole new world , a world where he experiences an inexplicable volume of energy and power. Infact, I would recommend every song of Behemoth , even the slow-paced ones like ‘Inner Sanctum’ or ‘Lucifer’ to be ONLY played on loud speakers at full volume. Trust me, music this extreme deserves such a setting without which it’s distinct elements often spiral into a noisy and chaotic soundtrack.
I believe vocalist & guitarist Nergal has the deadliest growl in heavy metal, sounding like it comes from such a dark place that he doesn’t necessarily need the demonic makeup or corpsepaint to be scary (though that’s something I certainly wouldn’t complain about ).
A page on the web says the following about Behemoth “ Believe this horrific hype or not but, please, do not play this around your kids. They will have nightmares and grow up to be socially awkward men and women (like most metal fans do) thanks to this train collision of musical desecration. It’s a stab at something a little less blistering but is all the more intimidating due to the creepy black metal riffing of Nergal and guitarist Seth, conjuring the best of Immortal and Mayhem.”
Interestingly , Nergal is the sole member remaining from the original lineup ( Trivia : One of the first members , Baal aka Desecrator later left the band only to become a top computer-science researcher at Harvard today :P ) . In one of the pre-concert interviews I noticed how he nostalgically charts out Behemoth’s long journey from being something of a pastime of a bunch of 13-yr old’s like him in 1990 to the multi-award winning band that they are today. His creativity has caused the early Behemoth style of old-school Black Metal to be replaced by a more popular Death metal variant only still staying true to it’s BM roots through the lyrical themes. FYI , these guys have used and will continue to use instruments and elements as diverse as sitars( in ‘Shemhomfarash’ ) , the French Horns( in ‘Demigod’ and ‘Daimonos’ ) , Buddhist chants( in ‘At the Left Hand ov God ‘ ) and epic choruses in their works.
One of the most popular misconception ( which BTW even I harboured for a long time until recently ) is that Behemoth is a Satanic Black Metal Band . No, for the record , they ARE NOT ! They are more like a Pagan Band who love taking music to the extremes while articulating their views on Christianity which they feel is an overrated plagiarisation of the predating Pagan faiths.
My current favourite is ‘ Slaying the Prophets ov Isa ’ . Five minutes of plodding, banging and stomping: a teenage wet dream of the perfect metal crusher is complete with a wicked solo at the end.
Anyways, the reason I start this blog with a review on Behemoth is simple. In all my life, I have been hooked on to many bands starting from Linkin Park, Children of Bodom etc. only to find myself bored with it in a few months time or at max. a year. But NOT with Behemoth !!Infact, the co-authors of this blog as well as my few close friends would vouch for this fact for I have often tirelessly tried to pass on my obsession with Behemoth to them. It’s been 2 long years since I first liked Behemoth and my ardor for them just grows more and more. Personally, if I were to rate Behemoth, it would be a full FIVE STARS . I know its biased , but Hell to all those who think otherwise . All Hail Behemoth and Stay Fuckin’ True to the Devil’s Horns \m/ .
P.S. Here’s the Myspace Link to Behemoth.
posted by Nikhil at 8:35 AM