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Monday, September 07, 2009

CD Review: Behemoth - Evangelion

Behemoth - Evangelion
2009 Metal Blade Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

In all likelihood this review is worthless, considering what you'll read here is no doubt the same judgment as everyone else confronting Behemoth's latest litany of confrontationalism.

Is it not surreal a band as unapologetically extreme as Behemoth has found themselves in the strange lap of guaged success? Sure, this is still underground material, but look amongst today's generation of mallrats and lo, you'll find plastered across their barely-nubile chests one of the most blasphemous and precisely bombastic death/black metal outfits in the entire universe. Next thing you know, Gorgoroth's metallic germination will be spread across today's teen metal society. Or Xasthur, for that matter.

Indeed, we've come to a point in modern metal's resurgence where Slipknot is no longer heavy enough for the masses. Lamb of God is still one of the top dawgs of the scene, but the hip upswing in favoritism is leaning incrementally towards Nile, Vader, Dimmu Borgir and of course, Behemoth.

This is not to say any of the aforementioned groups including Behemoth have sold out to the machine. Instead, the machine has spun its beacon hard towards the riotous cacophony of triple-timed antichrist anthems, since said music obviously demands to heard these days. A sign of the times, be sure.

Evangelion is all you can and should expect from Behemoth. As one of the indisputable leaders of death metal, Nergal and his feral hellhounds play straight into their severe schemes with no deviation. Bloody mayhem prevails as usual on Evangelion with nonstop savagery ala "Defiling Morality of Black God," "Ov Fire and the Void" and "Daimonos."

If anything, Behemoth has grown a smidge more exact in their already letter-perfect attack plan. Save for the doom-trodden march prevailing on the eight-minute-plus closer "Lucifer" and the lumbering, ratchety first half of "Ov Fire and the Void," Evangelion is all-systems-go with plummeting thrash designed to make you hold onto your cookies all the way.

Evangelion's most tapestried cuts are "Transmigrating Beyond Realms Ov Amenti" and "He Who Breeds Pestilence," where the pace is so reckless even drummer Inferno trips over himself a couple times, albeit he's on the dime the majority of the album. Nevertheless, these songs are so intensely written, the weaved miasma in their wake leaves the listener paralyzed by Behemoth's astounding grandeur. The ride of "Transmigrating Beyond Realms Ov Amenti" is so fierce Nergal's final throat blat is like a rebel yell at the end of a whiplashing coaster.

Nergal's diatribes are well-known (as if anyone would be foolhardy enough to question them with music this brutal), however, he reportedly delved deeper into the Old Testament for Evangelion in order to substantiate his hardline arguments of Christian sanctimony. Mallrats today may or may not have a clue of what Pandora's Box of fiendish hatred they're endorsing on their bodies, but they're tripping on the blaring and unyielding temptations raging out of Behemoth's box.

Evangelion is the tempestuous sound of professionals (if not professors) easily expounding their deafening craft while most of their imitators drool on...

Rating: ****


Rhodeislandrock said...

I'm not a big Black or Death Metal fan when it comes to the newer bands but I do like some of the old stuff from back in the late 80s to late 90s.

That said, I took a chance on this album when I saw the sale price at the local shop listed at $9.99 with the bonus DVD. I've had Evangelion in my regular daily rotation ever since it came out. This has happened with a number of current extreme metal bands that I wouldn't have given a chance a couple of years ago. Slowly, I'm getting into the current bands/scene.

I have to agree with you, the younger metalheads are turning towards the more extreme bands and/or the classics that Metal was built on. When I went to the Heaven & Hell show in Boston a week ago there were a ton of young kids there sporting H&H shirts and other classic bands like Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Ozzy, Motorhead along with the Dimmu Borgir, Lamb Of God, and Children Of Bodom. A bunch of them even booed Coheed & Cambria when all the college age guys were going nuts! And I thought C&C was one of the more popular bands amongst the young people!

Heavy Metal Addiction

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Interestingly enough I saw Coheed and Cambria with Bob Vinyl ages ago, albeit they were opening for Hot Water Music and Thrice (HWM was headlining) and we didn't KNOW it was C&C until half the venue emptied out after their set and I distinctly heard a lot of them say they had to get outside since their moms were picking them up

I'm more than happy to see the young generation dig up the's what we did during the original scene while supporting our then-current acts.

There's so much of the extreme stuff it can get real monotonous, however, when done as affluently as Behemoth, it's rather exciting...when I saw Behemoth at SOTU a few years back, the kids came galloping into the amphitheater during Inferno's drum sound check; it was so fast and unlike what they've been used to these past years it naturally sounded brand new to them

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