The tenth full-length album by the cult Polish Black/Death Metal band.
Given that "The Satanist" is not only the first album by Polish firebrands Behemoth in five years but also their first since frontman Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, you might expect them to be restless at the start, to burst open in a characteristic tangle of Extreme Metal. But they begin slowly, a sinister riff cutting patiently through open air. The drums march rather than maraud, while the bass pads the pocket. It feels like the preamble of a classic Rock anthem, perhaps the sequel to “Hells Bells”. But really, Behemoth want to make sure you can hear Nergal and understand him when he opens with purely heretic invective. Rather than emerge as though they have something to prove through speed and precision, one of Heavy Metal’s most popular bands elects to return with something to say that’s as vile and startling as most any moment in their previously impious two decades. Even the precipice of death, Nergal implies, didn’t soften his sacrilege. "The Satanist" in many ways reflects a synthesis of their stepwise, two-decade journey between atavistic Black Metal, expert Death Metal and a mid-career hybrid of the two. "The Satanist" doesn’t give up on high-end recording; in fact, with its occasional exultant choirs, horn fanfares, and acoustic interludes, it’s a complex and deliberate affair. This time, the sheen only highlights what’s beneath the surface, revealing these songs’ eccentricities and thrills rather than buffing them out.
Nergal is careful to stretch his style sheet of references beyond the Devil and Christ; he folds Latin and Coptic concepts into these lines, even nodding to John Milton in one passing moment. There was some doubt, after all, if Nergal would even live long enough to make another album. And there was certainly more doubt than hope that, if Behemoth did finish a tenth record, it would stand somehow as a late-career renaissance. But "The Satanist" is a terrific coil of most everything Behemoth have ever done well, a strangely hopeful vision of hell wrested away from its very grip. A vital, crushing monster of an album, it feels as though the band is digging deep here, tapping into hidden reserves of infernal power to deliver an album of profane and powerful sonic destruction! Behemoth sound revitalized and ready to destroy everything that stands in their path, and fans should be ready to either go along for the ride or be crushed!!
Nuclear Blast GmbH/High Fidelity Ltd./Raven Music, 2014 (STAR01CD). Made in Israel.
1. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel 4:25
2. Furor Divinus 3:06
3. Messe Noire 4:05
4. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer 5:35
5. Amen 3:49
6. The Satanist 5:34
7. Ben Sahar 5:35
8. In The Absence Ov Light 4:58
9. O Father O Satan O Sun 7:13
Total playing time: 44:20