Behemoth have not had it easy in recent years. From lead singer Nergal’s fights with leukaemia, a battle he thankfully continues to win, to his fights with the law in Poland over his ripping up of a bible on stage. In all this turmoil it’s been easy to forget that behind all of this is one of the best extreme metal bands in the world, therefore the release of The Satanist, their first album since Evangelion in 2009, is a big deal.
It’s a good thing then that Behemoth have come out kicking, because this album could be considered a masterpiece. Right from the swirling triumphant opening of “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” this is a piece of music, nay a piece of art, that is out to take your breath away. It’s an album that isn’t scared to remove itself from Behemoth’s routes with the likes of the title track having a more rock and roll edge. While “Ora Pro Nobis” slows itself right down around the 3 minute mark, before “In the Absence of Light” goes one step further with a full blown acoustic section.
However, for every moment of fragile beauty there is a moment of crushing heaviness. The more straight up extreme metal tracks like “Furor Divinis” are as heavy as the other moments are interesting. However, to dismiss them as simple moments is foolish, as these are tracks as complex as they are crushing and this is an album that is made to last.
This is a short review, not because there is nothing to say, but because sometimes it’s just not worth it. Sometimes what you should do is just go out and listen to an album and experience it for yourself. The Satanist is one of those albums. This is already one of the best releases you will hear this year and if more than one or two albums even come close to it this will be an extraordinary year for music. Nergal and co are back kicking and screaming and this is an album that proves that that is 100% a good thing.