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Behemoth – The Satanist

2014 Metal Blade Records
Behemoth - The Satanist

When Behemoth vocalist/guitarist Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia back in 2010; it seemed like there might have been a glimpse of light welcomed into his darkened heart. After all, it was through the good will of man that a matching bone marrow donor was found; thus allowing him to continue upon his wretched course.

If the album’s title didn’t spoil it, being faced with the fragility of life hasn’t swayed him from exalting the left hand path. What it appears to have done instead is instill him and the rest of this Polish horde with a hardened resolve. The type of solemn conviction required to construct this, their most empowered discharge of blackened symphonic death metal to date.

Having now peered directly into the abyss; the band spread their blasphemous message with a pressing urgency. Much of this ravenousness manifests itself within the rhythm section. For it is the low end that routinely sounds as though its dredging the depths of hell; with the flailing percussion cracking the whip to ensure its persistent stride.

With the heavy lifting handled, the sinister web of decayed ambiance and searing riffs weaved by the guitars are left unencumbered; making for a fluid, if not gnawing performance. Nergal‘s barks are surprisingly lively as he spews out his agonized hymns of hellfire and torment. Regardless of your views on the profane lyrical content, there’s no denying the fervor and relentless assurance he delivers here.

That said, while tunnel vision can be an issue when it comes to song structuring, there surely are exhilarating vistas to be seen along the voyage. One such sonic aside is found on “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel“, which finds the band offset by the choral ambiance of what might as well be a choir of fallen angels. The defiant bass found on “Ben Sahar” is also a welcome respite, lurching forward with confidence and identity.

The horns that close out the title track practically beckon the end times while cleverly offering jarring closure to a whirring guitar solo. There’s obviously an established Behemoth framework at the core, but it’s the intricacies such as those listed above that keep the listener subjugated.

As an album, “The Satanist” is a provocative and commanding performance with chasm-like depth and grandiose poise. The pacing is admittedly grueling and often revels in its own severity. But there’s enough flourishes, spoken interludes, etc. to keep the listener enthralled from start to finish.

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    ( 31 votes, 4.19 stars )
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      • avatar
      • NoSalvation     February 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        Alright, so I hate bad grammar as much as the next guy, but maybe next time email the person privately. How would you feel if someone followed you all day and the second you fucked up that person hit you with a baseball bat in the back of the head and screamed so everyone could hear “THIS DUMB ASS JUST FUCKED UP!! HE SPELLED A WORD WRONG!! LET’S HANG THIS IDIOT!!” So rude.

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        • Porpoise Orifice     February 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

          That’s sweet of you to defend his honor!
          Two things:

          1. Having sincerely offered, by e-mail, to buy wook a new car or boat (seems like the least I could do to thank him for introducing me to so much life-enriching music throughout the years) and receiving no response, I thought that might not work. Besides, everyone here knows his caliber; it never hurts to point out a few rusty writing cogs.

          2. WTF is the matter with bustin’ his balls; have you visited this site circa 2008? Guy obviously has a sense of humor. Eek! I’m sure he’s just as pissed as a guy finding a turd in their spicy Claussen pickles! I’m sure he’ll be stewin’ all Spring.

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        • Porpoise Orifice     February 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm

          To answer your question, I’d probably feel… paralyzed if I was hit in the head with a bat.

          But all sarcasm aside, I’d feel very very very sad.

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        • NoSalvation     February 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

          I don’t enjoy reading about people pointing out grammar mistakes. That’s all. I’ve tried emailing him before with no response either.. wasn’t offering a car or anything but I will take what you’re giving away should it still be on the table.. all in honor of me coming to this site since 2008 or probably longer. Nice semicolons by the way.

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        • Porpoise Orifice     February 5, 2014 at 12:48 am

          Lol I feel ya. Individuals who seem to always talk crud are irritating! Undoubtedly, theprp can’t be the only place he writes, and I’m sure he’s constantly working to improve. Writers always deserve feedback, and he definitely gets plenty of praise around here!

          Sure, Tom! lolz

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        • Thanks for the criticism. It’s been a long time and looks like I could use a brush up, haha.

          I don’t recall said emails, but I am horrible with them in general. Tunnel vision sets in when you sift through hundreds on a daily basis.

          Also, this site is obviously the only site I write at. I’ve never claimed to be a writer. My rudimentary skills are clear proof of that.

          I’m just an aging burnout who got roped into this site 15 years ago and stayed long past his expiry date.

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        • Porpoise Orifice     February 7, 2014 at 2:55 am

          Very humble, and that’s cool, but you’ve developed a style that people enjoy reading. Give yourself some credit.

          I’ll email you 24 hours from now, look for the croakies and boatshoes addy (or not). Don’t get your hopes up, I just saw the DFD crowdfunding vid and sent them all my $.

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        • Everyone knows that the best way to contact wook is by sending him a PM through Chaturbate. Sometimes you have to tip him 100 tokens or so to get his attention, but it’s effective.

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        • musicalsnob     February 6, 2014 at 11:17 pm

          Jus throwing this out there, but have you ever considered having guest writers? Your readers for example…

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        • Musicalsnob:

          No. Just no. I’ve followed this site for roughly 10 years now and that would just be a fucking horrible idea. It would be a far greater pain in the ass to screen what the authors would write than to just go without, I’m sure.

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        • musicalsnob     February 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm


          Aaaw come on man! wouldnt that be some shit, knowing that a few paragraphs you wrote are on theprp site?

          any ways just saying, Ive been coming to this site since the layout was blue and black (1999, 2000) so I am aware of this sites importance to those of you who habitually check this site on a day to day basis.
          Been checking out other sites as well, and i do miss the invisible oranges that was run by Cosmo Lee. Within some of these sites they do guest writers and what not, just an idea.

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    • Livedefflo     February 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      track 2 i was expecting Dani Filth for some reason. Either ways this is a pretty interesting album. If you zone out on it it’s very ambient and atmospheric, kinda like cradle of filth’s first few albums.

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    • I gave the opening track a go based on the review, and looked for some of the other songs on boobtube, but they’ve all been taken down by dem management. Based on “Gabriel” alone, seems kinda vanilla to me. Guess I’ll have to wait a few weeks to hear the rest, hope it’s more noteworthy.

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    • wearesorta138     February 11, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Finally got to listen to this animal. Really haven’t spent too much time with Behemoth but it is a hefty record and makes me want to hit their back-catalog. Get a lot of Gojira’s vibe in a few of the tracks which is pretty damn cool.

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