BEHEMOTH — Pandemonic Incantations (review)

BEHEMOTH — Pandemonic Incantations album cover Album · 1998 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Pandemonic Incantations" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Polish blackened death metal act Behemoth. The album was released through Solistitium Records in March 1998. There´s been a couple of lineup changes since "Grom (1996)" as drummer Baal Ravenlock has been replaced by Inferno and bassist Les has been replaced by Mefisto. This means that bandleader/guitarist/lead vocalist Nergal is now the only remaining founding member of the band.

The music on the album is blackened death metal. While the band haven´t shed all the black metal elements from their sound, they´ve taken a giant leap in the direction of a more brutal blackened death metal sound. One of the things they have kept from the early albums is the epic atmosphere of their music. The addition of new drummer Inferno to the lineup is really an asset to the band´s sound. His precise and innovative drumming style really boosts Behemoth´s sound. The tracks are generally very fast-paced and brutal yet relatively memorable. Most feature hooks of some sort which make them stand out from each other. A song like "Driven by the Five-Winged Star" prove that Behemoth also master the mid-paced and epic death metal style to perfection. The sound production works relatively well but it´s not really a great sounding album. The sound production is a bit too muddy which is a shame as the album could have prospered from a clearer and more powerful sound production.

"Pandemonic Incantations" is still a positive surprise to me as I didn´t expect such a high quality release this early on after Behemoth changed their style from black metal to blackened death metal. The band seem more than at home with the new style though and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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