BEHEMOTH — The Satanist

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BEHEMOTH - The Satanist cover
4.17 | 20 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2014

Filed under Death Metal
By BEHEMOTH

Tracklist

1. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel (4:25)
2. Furor Divinus (3:06)
3. Messe Noire (4:04)
4. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer (5:35)
5. Amen (3:49)
6. The Satanist (5:33)
7. Ben Sahar (5:34)
8. In the Absence of Light (4:58)
9. O Father O Satan O Sun! (7:13)

Total Time 44:17

Line-up/Musicians

- Nergal / lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Seth / guitars, backing vocals
- Orion / bass, backing vocals
- Inferno / drums

About this release

February 3rd, 2014. Nuclear Blast Records.

Thanks to Wilytank for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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BEHEMOTH THE SATANIST reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"The Satanist" is the 10th full-length studio album by Polish death metal act Behemoth. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in February 2014. It´s been a few years since the release of "Evangelion (2009)" (the longest recording break between studio albums in the band´s career up until then), but the recording break has been due to frontman/guitarist Nergal´s leukemia diagnose, subsequent treatment of the disease, and a longer recovery period. Nergal´s strong will and determination made him soldier on and even tour during his recovery period, even though he has stated in interviews, that some periods and shows were hard to get through. It´s a perfect example of the kind of character Nergal is though. A man with a burning passion for his music, determined to bring that music to his fans, even during a period in his life, where he wasn´t at his strongest.

While a life threatening desease will probably leave most people paralyzed with fear and not able to focus on work, the experience seems to have fueled Nergal´s songwriting batteries, because "The Satanist" is among the most varied and strongest albums in Behemoth´s discography. Like the case is with most of the band´s output, "The Satanist" requires a couple of spins to sink in and upon repeated listens a wealth of details unfold. While the music on the album is still at it´s core technically well played death metal, there are so many layers of cleverly composed choirs and keyboards incorporated to that core death metal style, that "The Satanist" ultimately comes off as quite the adventurous and challenging death metal album. The two tracks that bookend the album are some of the best examples of how much Behemoth have developed their style and how well they incorporate symphonic elements, dark atmospheres, variation and brutality into one powerful package. "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" is a strong and varied album opener, while "O Father O Satan O Sun!" is among the most epic sounding tracks yet released by Behemoth. During the album we´re also presented with more aggressive and brutal death metal tracks, so "The Satanist" really is a varied death metal release. The tempos vary from heavy mid-paced grooves to blast beats and occasionally slower epic styled paces.

The sound production is slightly less polished than the case have been on the two direct predecessors, but it´s still in the more clear end of the sound production scale. It´s overall a very detailed, powerful and well sounding production, which suits the music well. The band are as always technically well playing with Nergal´s commanding growls in front. It´s the high quality of the songwriting that´s the real asset here though and what sets "The Satanist" apart from other less memorable releases by Behemoth. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.
arcane-beautiful
Whenever I heard Nergal got leukaemia I was generally shocked. Behemoth are band I have loved for a very long time and have respected Nergal for a very long time. Having been nearly arrested for blasphemy charges and always spouting intelligent anti theist statements. So after a miraculous recovery, the band have released 'The Satanist'....a statement very much defining the bands Anti religious status.

Compared to their last album, this one is definitely a massive step ahead. Having rather enjoyed their last album 'Evangelion' (although I did think it was a step down from their previous release 'The Apostasy'), this album has pretty much defiled their previous material and has put the band into even more exciting and newer sounds and heights.

Taking influence from the fathers of Black Metal like Bathory and Celtic Frost along with some new influences from Black Metal legends like Deathspell Omega and Enslaved. One of the most shocking things I found with this album was how melodically based the songs where. The songs are also a lot more carefully constructed when compared to other Behemoth tracks, with the additional use of hooks and chorus' which can be very rare in death metal (and I agree should be more common).

The album is more simplicity in style, but surprisingly enough, the simplicity of the songs has added a lot more depth to the bands music. Showing off a bigger focus on harmony, melody and instrumentation, the album is a real landmark for these guys, proving that extreme metal still is a genre that can shock and suprise people.

Nergal's vocals have also changed a hefty bit, with slight tonal similarities to his earlier growls on albums like 'Satanica' and 'Thelma 6'. It may be due to his recovery after surgery and chemo, but it does show a lot of pain and passion that I felt may have been lost in Behemoths more recent recordings.

The first track and lead single from the album 'Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” is very much a continuation in the same field of 'Alas, Lord is Upon Me' from their last album. Slow and doomy in style, the song builds up to an amazing crescendo with some epic guitar hooks, horns and epic growls from Nergal.

One of the darkest and most twisted moments on the album is “Amen.” Lyrically moulded on a Christian prayer, the song takes a dark twist on the concept of prayer and spits on it with Satanic malice. Very much influenced by Deathspell Omega, the darkened riffs and blast beats are a power house to be matched.

One of the albums defining moments is seen in the title track. Definitly one of Behemoths most powerful and melodic tracks, it really is a highlight in the bands career. Lyrically and vocally, Nergal takes the listener on a spiritual and powerful journey.

One of the most interesting songs on the album has to be 'In The Absence Ov Light.' Having very limited lyrics, this song is flourished with some spoken word and a pretty beautiful uplifting saxophone solo. Don't know why saxophone and extreme metal go so well together...they just do.

The albums closer and longest track 'O Father O Sun O Lucifer.' A brilliant build up throughout with some rather beautiful instrumentation and a moving vocal performance from Nergal. An amazing ending to a contender for album of the year.

In conclusion, this album was a daring feat that really could have resulted in a rather weak effort. But after Nergal's death scare, the passion from this band that I have heard in previous releases is finally back. Wearing their influences on their sleeves, the bands sound has progressed into a more accessible and more unique sound. While this album is a masterpiece of metal, the band really have put the mark higher for their next release. A daring and interesting emotional experience I would recommend to any metal fan.

9/10
Warthur
Some people find that a confrontation with their own mortality changes them; clearly, Nergal isn't one of them. The first Behemoth album to follow Nergal's terrifying health scare finds the frontman defiantly doubling down on his Satanic lyrical themes as the band take advantage of improved production values to put out one of their more dramatic albums. Almost operatic in tone but thoroughly death metal in execution, although it's generated a lot of much-deserved buzz I don't think it's quite a masterpiece - just a very solid album from one of the more consistent bands on the scene, which deserves attention from any death metal fan.
siLLy puPPy
BEHEMOTH never fail to amaze me in how they constantly change their sound and don't fall into the stagnant pitfalls that many extreme metal bands often do. On their 10th studio album THE SATANIST they clearly are resurrecting the black metal side of their blackened death sound complete with beautiful packaging resembling a kind of black arts liturgy prayerbook replete with imagery, symbolism, poetry and barely legible lyrics. In addition to the emphasis on the black metal sound, they seem to add a lot of sludge riffing both of the slower Neurosis variety and of the more aggressive Mastodon type. The blackened death fury is on full display at key points but the album also has slower more retrospective moments.

Ever since DEMIGOD the band has been adding more sophistication to their sound without sacrificing the true metal spirit and brutality that they have made their own. The band officially only consists of the three members Nergal, Orion and Inferno but the list of guest musicians is a staggering numbering of 14 adding the subtle additions of hammond organ, sax, cello, trumpet, trombone and even a flugelhorn. You gotta listen close to even hear some of these because they are so buried in the heavy din to be hardly noticeable. The production crew is just as impressive and the sound is very good. The mixing of the instruments is impeccable and it simply sounds like a lot of time was spent polishing this beast's horns until they sparkled.

This album seems to be universally praised citing that the band has evolved past the pure mechanical brutality of the last decade into more varied and sophisticated songwriting. I would have to agree with this consensus but unlike many I actually really love the pure adrenaline drenched and balls-to-the-wall approach showing no mercy for oxygen breaks, however I realize that churning out the same album repeatedly would become dull rather quickly and not garner the universal respect that the band has gained. They have scored a hit once again by constantly evolving their sound into new arenas and upping the complexity yet remaining true to their name. BEHEMOTH is a beautiful ugly beast that surely must have earned a low place in hell at this stage in their career.
bartosso
"I believe neither in god nor in reason... give me a man, let him be like me"

The Satanist was reborn and he spreads the word of the flawed god. It's not a secret that behind all the Behemoth image and occult-based ideology, hides a rather simple yet powerful concept. Instead of looking for the absolute in idealized religious dogmas or the sterile abstraction of science, you should embrace the scarred and imperfect... human.

Even though the message Nergal & Co are spreading is a quite noticeable part of the album, it's the music, obviously, what really matters here. And let me tell you, in terms of originality, production and general flow, this is the best Behemoth album to date. They have at last freed themselves of restraints of their hallmarks. I love how balanced the influences are here - the wind symphonic parts are only where they should be, sound very organic and add tons of atmosphere. Riffs are dense, brutal yet still feel very natural. The band is not afraid to venture into a slower, apocalyptic doom metal sound, or to explore sinister realms of atmospheric black metal. With its flawless pacing, eclectic approach and flying solos, however, The Satanist is first and foremost a heavy metal album. A very heavy metal album. Heavy as hell. Well, anyway...

The Satanist is as inwardly conflicted, full of terror and passion as any of us. I've never really been a fan of the band, but this time round Nergal finally established himself as one of the best blacksmiths in modern extreme rock music. Behemoth's powerful blend of black and death metal was heated in flames of passion and forged with the hammer of creativity. Albums like this usually stand the test of time.

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