FEBRUARY 4th, 2014
BEHEMOTH: THE SATANIST
Review By: Char Tupper

Well, the time has struck, Char Tupper’s first CD review for MetalTitans. I have always refused to do CD reviews because I have always felt I couldn’t express myself well enough to the full extent needed. This time around, the chance has been given to MetalTitans to review the one, the only, “The Satanist” by Behemoth, my favourite band of all time. I figure, this would be my one chance, my true moment I could easily express my feelings towards one of the mightiest bands of all time (in my opinion of course). Let us begin to review this monster of a CD.

This CD is the 10th album by the Polish metallers, and with a 5 year hiatus since the last record, the boys are back with force. The album title, “The Satanist” in Nergal’s (vocals/guitar) views reflects undeniable power within the band, and the primal wisdom they have been carrying alongside themselves for the last 23 years. To quote Nergal himself and his portrayal of the record and the title, "To me it's not pretentious at all. It's very straight up, very sincere, and a devastating, conquering statement. There's no compromise or bullshit or gimmicks. What I love about it is that it just speaks for itself. On one hand it's a very black and white title: The Satanist is like a fucking nail through the hand of Jesus Christ, period. No more, no less. But then again, as with everything else you put a hundred people together and ask them what the name The Satanist means to them and you're going to hear a hundred different opinions, which they can then discuss and fight over."  This CD cover artwork even contains Nergal’s real blood, no joke! The artwork was done by infamous Russian painter and occultist, Denis Forkas, where additional art was done by also Metastazis and Zbigniew Bielak. The art is quite unique, but on a personal note, I did prefer the artistic stylings of Evangelion or even their older Black Metal albums, they carry a bit more atmosphere and emotion whereas when I see this record, I don’t quite “feel” like it is Behemoth in my eyes.

Aside from the artwork, let us carry on to the music itself. The record opens with one of my top 3 favourite songs of the CD, “Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel”. The song screams epic, from those first guitar riffs to when the bass and drums kick in, the structure of the song is beyond amazing, it shouts from the depths of hell, “BEHEMOTH!” If you haven’t seen, Behemoth did unveil a music video for this track, done by Grupa13 once again. The visuals perfectly match the lyrical content of this track, and it really is all around, a fantastic song, I love it to pieces and cannot wait to hear this live.

Once again, I will be honest, the next two tracks, “Furor Divinus” and “Messe Noir” , these songs did not jump out to me, they were good, don’t get me wrong, but compared to the rest of the record, they definitely had that “filler” feel to them. Composition of the songs is kind of “all over”, hence why my next song really grabbed me, it was composed and done well, which song you ask? That title is “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”. The sound is more unique, more like their black metal days in the early nineties, but revamped with the quality of today. The feeling of this song still has that epic feel, that feeling that makes me fall in love with Behemoth over and over again. However, this track, they incorporate a bit more of a fast paced old school black metal feel, which was a fun bonus. “The Amen” and “The Satanist” definitely have a bit more of a unique energy to the songs, more variance in guitar stylings, song formations, but in the best way possible. I truly do enjoy these tracks as well, but not nearly as much as “Ben Sahar”, this track for me, stood out quite a bit on this record. Some may say “Oh, it sounds like…..” but hell no! Coming from one of the top fans like myself, and I’m not shy to say so, this song is more unique then most songs on this record, let alone their whole discography from the past albums. The angelic feel of Nergal’s vocal range on this track is a nice variety to hear. That voice, is one of a kind and this track shows his capability to sing from softer tones to the deep growls from within his devilish soul. The sound by the guys (Orion, Seth, and Inferno) is unbelievable. Such an epic, yet emotional attachment I have to “Ben Sahar”, it definitely stands out and beyond. “In The Absence ov Light” and “O Father O Satan O Sun!” once again have similar, yet unique features to make them each stand out. Compositions of the songs you can hear have been well planned out and have significant meaning for their placement in the CD. The final track to the album though, like “Lucifer” from Evangelion, this track most certainly stands out as a closing track. The song is full of atmosphere, filled with a sense of darkness and perhaps, a “Satanist”? The song is beyond dramatic with the musical compositions of all the band members, including vocals. You can hear the layered vocals, adding a more epic feel to this song, grabbing onto an emotional aspect within myself. This track, as a closing song, definitely leaves you wanting more Behemoth.

Now, my overall verdict of “The Satanist” by the metal titans of Poland, Behemoth? Well, let me tell you, I did really enjoy this record, the first listen was like no other, I had some surprises, some expected moments, some disappointments, I had all kinds of emotions walking into this CD review. I truly love the record, Behemoth has once again created a masterpiece. That being said, would I say this is their best record EVER…I may not jump on that ship yet, “Zos Kia Cultus” has been my favourite album since I heard it when I first got into Behemoth back in 2006, nothing yet to this day, has outdone this record. The emotional attachment to it is unlike any other, and sadly , this record also does not triumph my emotions towards the other. “The Satanist”, however, I would say definitely belongs in my Top 3 of all their albums(EP’s included). Thankfully this April, I will be embarking on a couple of shows to see these strapping men perform once again, and I am more then anxious to see the new material played live, I know it will be even better! Do not miss you chance to see them on the road here in the US/Canada this spring and go buy “The Satanist”, it is worth every penny!!