BEHEMOTH — Pandemonic Incantations (review)

BEHEMOTH — Pandemonic Incantations album cover Album · 1998 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Warthur
Pandemonic Incantations is the tipping point, capturing Behemoth right in the middle of their transition from a straight-ahead black metal group to a blackened death metal band. The inclusion on the front cover of imagery from the Simon Necronomicon (a fake black magic grimoire produced for the mass market in the 1970s) hints at a connection to the music of Morbid Angel, who have also used such stylised pentagrams on their album covers, and indeed in the death metal leaning parts of the album it does seem that Morbid Angel are the primary point of reference; other songs, particularly in the second half of the album, harken back to the band's black metal fury of old.

On the whole, it's a rather transitional piece; the band haven't yet become comfortable in a death metal context, and the black metal tracks at points seem to betray just how tired they were of that particular genre. Despite this, the band are able to craft a perfectly listenable and enjoyable experience which will appeal to most fans of black and death metal, even if it's not likely to be hailed as a classic of either genre.
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