It is hard to believe that with a track record of Behemoth's discography, "Demigod, Evangelion, Satanica", (the very best highlights), that the band would bless the metal world with its 2014 release "The Satanist". For years the band has managed to blend the very best of the black and death metal worlds, to no one else's ability, their sound is recognisable and undefinable and their achievements are undeniable. Frontman and brains to the brilliance, Nergal, has created an album and an experience that will go down as a modern masterpiece and staple within the genre.
The first feature that comes to the ears is the production of this album. The power of the drums and amplification and force of the guitars is something that stands out from the opening track, "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel". The intricate layering of guitar work, monstrous drumming by Inferno and memorable bass lines delivered by Orion (refer to Amen and The Satanist) are ones that will take you repeat listens to appreciate and become familiar with.
As I write this article the album is playing and it is impossible to even compile a list of highlights and favourite songs (seriously the album is that good). However, to those more traditional death metal fans who are expecting a Demigod-esque release, this may not be a favourite amongst the collection. The atmosphere of the album is dark, spacious and captivating, keeping you engaged the entire time. Nergal achieves this with a unique production, familiar inclusion of brass instrumental sections and a variety of different vocalists. The album closer, "O Father O Satan O Sun!", may be one of the most iconic and epic finales, with spoken vocals and a riff that allows you time to reflect on the album you just heard.
I could continue writing for hours on what this album is about and what it means for the genre, but it's best if you put it on. Many may be put off by its difficulty and commitment but, "The Satanist" has been one of the most rewarding albums since my metal journey began. I only get more excited as time goes on to see if Nergal is up to the task of topping "The Satanist", and my money's on yes.