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Behemoth
Demigod
January 2005
Released: 2005, Olympic Recordings
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

It took a while but Poland’s Behemoth seems to have found their calling. Starting out in the early-90s as a primitive black metal band, vocalist/guitarist Nergal took Behemoth on more of a death metal direction with 1999’s SATANICA, 2001’s THELEMA 6 and 2002’s brilliant ZOS KIA CULTUS. On DEMIGOD, the band has utilized the pagan elements of ZOS KIA CULTUS and added more brutality in the vocal department by double-tracking them a la Deicide. While this makes the lyrics almost impossible to understand, the increased intensity is remarkable. Also benefiting from thick production, Inferno’s drumming on DEMIGOD is just outstanding. The blastbeats come at you like a rabid pit bull and the double bass is thunderous. The riffing is gloriously meaty and some melody also drifts in. I don’t know how Behemoth can top DEMIGOD because this CD seems to have reached the pinnacle of where Nergal was headed all along.



“Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth” starts out innocent enough but Inferno quickly drives a spike through the listener with some of the most furious blastbeats in recent memory. Nergal and Seth deliver some insane riffs and Orion’s bass crushes everything in its path. The title track opens with a majestic trumpet-like effect before the complex riffing takes over and a white-knuckled thrill ride ensues. “Conquer All” continues the ride with Nergal sounding positively demonic. Dark, heavy, mid-paced death metal has wiped the slate clean of any black metal remnants that may have remained from the early works of GROM or SVENTEVITH and there is no better example of this than on “Conquer All.” Top notch production has brought out the best in every instrument with delicate nuances peeking through the intensity. Inferno’s insane drumming continues to weave its spell through such tracks as “The Nephilim Rising” and “The Reign Ov Shemsu-Hor” trampling everything in his path. The band slows down a bit for “Mysterium Coniunctionis (Hermanubis)” but never loses a grain of the brutality along the way. The riffs are extremely technical and well thought out, something devoid in most metal this extreme. Nile’s Karl Sanders lays down a smoking guitar solo on “XUL” that soars through the final part of the track. The standout track on DEMIGOD is “Slaves Shall Serve.” The evil-sounding intro sets things up nicely for three ultra-heavy minutes before “SLAVES SHALL FUCKING SERVE!!!” wraps it up. This track is so heavy, so nasty, so utterly brutal that it should be the soundtrack for a sinner’s journey into Hell!



ZOS KIA CULTUS saw Behemoth usurp the throne of Polish heavy metal kings from Vader (in my eyes anyway) and DEMIGOD has improved on that record immensely. The production sets a new benchmark for what an extreme metal band should sound like on record and Nergal’s visitation of all things pagan draws ever deeper and more obscure from a lyrical standpoint. Flawless from start to finish, DEMIGOD is the first “must have” release of 2005 (it was released in 2004 in Europe) and the only bad thing I have to say about it is that we have to wait two more years for another Behemoth album!!



KILLER KUTS: “”Sculpting The Throne of Seth,” “Conquer All,” “Mysterium Coniunctionis (Hermanubis),” “Slaves Shall Serve”
Track Listing

1. Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth
2. Demigod
3. Conquer All
4. The Nephilim Rising
5. Towards Babylon
6. Before The Aeons Came
7. Mysterium Coniunctionis (Hermanubis)
8. XUL
9. Slaves Shall Serve
10. The Reign Ov Shemsu-Hor
**"Conquer All” music video

Lineup

Nergal—Vocals/Guitar
Seth—Guitar
Orion—Bass
Inferno—Drums


Next review: » Behemoth - Demigod
Previous review: » Begrime Exemious - Visions Of The Scourge

Behemoth
Demigod
March 2005
Released: 2004, Olympic Recordings
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

A lot of hype surrounds this band, and some of it is merited. Are they death metal’s saviours? No; but what they do, they do damn well. To put it succinctly, they bring a sense of majesty to death metal that their contemporaries don’t.

There is a sense of songwriting, and texture, virtually unheard of in the genre—only bands like Drawn & Quartered reach these heights. Nile is a decent reference (and Karl Sanders makes a cameo on “XUL.”). Like their kinsmen, Vader and Vital Remains, if you’re not a fan of brutal death, there’s still a chance you’ll like this.

Playing wisely off 2002’s success, Zos Kia Cultus, the emphasis is on a slithering, creep-the-hell-out-of-posers effect that will frighten mom and dad. The thundering old-school riffing crawls upon its belly from channel to channel, cursed like Eden’s serpent to nip at Eve’s frail ankles. There is significant plod to be found here; so those looking for speed might move on to Lost Soul or some such thing.

In a way, it’s almost produced too well—the male choir in the opening track is blended so well into the mix, you barely pick them up. It was intended to be a subtlety, albeit a pricey one. Perhaps the best comparison is Therion during their Symphony Masses era. In a lot of ways, this is much of what Morbid Angel has tried to accomplish since Gateways To Annihilation. The difference is in Demigod’s effective use of implied heaviness, when only ambience is present.

Fans of the “creepy death” sub-subgenre of DM (insert random Morbid Angel-loving Polish thrashers here) will annoy co-workers for weeks with this. Others, perhaps frustrated by the album’s pretentious this-and-that’s, may still appreciate the ambitiousness of Demigod’s design. It’s heavy and demonic, genuinely occultic, and well played—what more do you fucking want?
Track Listing

1.Sculpting The Throne ov Seth
2.Demigod
3.Conquer All
4.The Nephilim Rising
5.Towards Babylon
6.Before The Aeons Came
7.Mysterium Coniunctionis (Hermanubis)
8.XUL
9.Slaves Shall Serve
10.The Reign ov Shemsu-Hor

Lineup

Adam "Nergal" Darski - Vocals, Guitar
Inferno - Drums, Percussion
Orion - Bass
Seth - Guitar


Next review: » Behemoth - Demigod
Previous review: » Begrime Exemious - Visions Of The Scourge

Behemoth
Demigod
July 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

I guess there comes a time when all of your gods fail you, and this time it has happened to me. Unlike bands like At the Gates and Carcass, who left at their creative peaks and left behind inimitable legacies, Poland’s Behemoth have unfortunately crafted an ugly pock mark upon their otherwise pristine reputation by releasing this go-nowhere release entitled DEMIGOD.



Now I don’t want you to assume that I’m just one of those disgruntled fans who decides to jump shit whenever a band decides to experiment with stylistic changes. No, I have loved Behemoth since their pitch black debut, FROM THE PAGAN VASTLANDS, and have been a faithful follower ever since. That is, until I was dealt the unabashed and unashamed Nile-worship that is DEMIGOD.



The tasteful incorporation of Death Metal influences into Behemoth’s initial Black Metal framework has resulted in some brilliant material, including such fine lps as SATANICA and 2002’s breakthrough ZOS KIA CULTUS release, but this is just too much. The music here, while standard, just does not stand up to Behemoth’s level of quality, instead preferring to dwell within the stacks of Karl Sander’s unused Nile passages.



Endless, mind-numbing blast beats permeate this record like a sieve, and just bore the listener to death, with no trace of the amazing feeling which was so amazingly prevalent on each one of the band’s releases up until this point. This breaks my heart, because I truly think that Behemoth can be one of the genre’s foremost and brightest bands. Mainman Nergal’s capacity for creative greatness truly knows no bounds, and to see him release such blatant plagiarism (even if the results are occasionally impressive-see the track “Conquer All”), is just so disheartening.



Of course, this release is selling like hotcakes, and everyone seems to be buying into yet another original act falling victim to the current trend of the day (see: shitty American Death Metal, exhibit A being Nile). As for myself, I’m going to pretend this release never happened, and delude myself into thinking that this band broke up after ZOS KIA CULTUS. Behemoth is dead to me.
Track Listing

1. Sculpting the Throne of Seth
2. Demigod
3. Conquer All
4. The Nephlim Rising
5. Towards Babylon
6. Before Aeons Came
7. Mysterium Coniunctionis (Hermanubis)
8. XUL
9. Slaves Shall Serve
10. The Reign of Shemus-Hor

Lineup

Nergal-guitar/vocals
Inferno-drums
Orion-bass
Seth-session guitar


Next review: » Behemoth - Evangelion
Previous review: » Begrime Exemious - Visions Of The Scourge





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