Sometimes an album comes along at just the right time, and everything clicks. For me, Behemoth’s Evangelion sounds like how I feel right now. So I’ve been listening to it on repeat since I ‘obtained’ it last week. Don’t worry, I’ve already ordered my autographed copy.
There are many typical metal review words that could be used to describe this album, and they would all be true: It’s epic. It slays. It’s brutal. But, similar to my obsession with Mastodon’s Crack the Skye, this album goes beyond all ov that. Intentional or not, it takes the listener on a journey earmarked by departures from the black metal norm. It goes deep into my brain, affecting something primitive that I don’t quite understand.
I could tell you to pick your poison, pop in the album, and lean back against your speaker and let the music massage it’s way into your soul (or lack thereov) as it did mine (with a happy ending, ov course!), but here’s my track by track commentary if you so desire:
The album begins with screams- and maybe a crying baby- and Nergal shouting a rallying cry. Heavy guitar enters the picture, along with the machine gun drums that almost never let up for the entire album. The track is menacing- if you are not into black/death metal, this will surely end your listening session with Behemoth. Seth provides a nice guitar solo towards the end that sings over the helicopter drums. I must take a moment to LOL that the guitarist goes by ‘Seth’ when the others are Nergal, Orion, and Inferno….
visual: the band are warriors heading into a battle
The second single from the album hits you in waves. Growls are followed up by guitar, over and over again. It’s a complete takeover ov every sense. While other bands might have made this song overwhelming, it is softened in a sense with classical elements- a slight hint ov opera voices and strings in the background, and the sitar at the end. If this song does not get your heart beating, there is something wrong with you. It has complimented my coffee every morning for the past 5 days.
visual: the charge into the fray
3. Ov Fire And The Void
The first single from the album has an unfair advantage as my favorite, since I’ve already seen it live twice, and know how it feels to pump my fist in the the air and toss my head around to it. It feels great by the way. It’s a bit slower and more dramatic than the first two. The drawn out guitar over the pounding drums is a wicked contrast. There are some pauses in the music that let you breathe and take it all in- a very important element.
visual: warriors standing in the battlefield surveying the land in their first victory.
4. Transmigrating Beyond Realms Ov Amenti
Going into the second climax ov the album, I love the way Nergal audibly breathes before screaming into the beginning ov the song. And then the track ends with one ov the more demented screams I’ve ever heard.
visual: theater of war type screams by the warriors to scare the enemy away
5. He Who Breeds Pestilence
This song could trick a newcomer at the beginning…a slow build ov somber guitar is followed up by a complete massacre ov sound, and repeats this throughout. The desperately shouted “Give me a God!” pops out ov the song and punches you in the ear. The stark contrasts within this song- the changes in tempo- are maddening. It sounds like the most angry track on the album…and that says a lot.
visual: an all out massacre
6. The Seed Ov I
I can see this being the third single. The Zakk Wylde squealies mentioned in the production videos posted earlier this year are prevalent throughout this track. I love the guitar hook…it almost seems slightly out ov place within the album, but ends up being part ov what gives it character and makes it stand out from other death metal albums.
visual: stepping back from the battle, mustering strength to keep moving forward.
7. Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
I love the intro to this song. Ov all the tracks, this one makes me think more than it makes me feel. It’s the shortest on the album, and has a very abrupt ending.
visual: there’s a strong sensation ov floating or swaying, within this song, and then being attacked from all angles.
8. Defiling Morality Ov Black God
Any song with ‘Defiling Morality’ in the title is a win in my book. This song just never lets up. However, if I had to lose one track on the record, this would be it….it’s almost too much at the end ov the album, and I feel like it lacks a bit ov the character that the other songs do. Perhaps part ov that is stating the song title at the end…feels a little awkward.
visual: a sprint to the end
Love this track. It’s the longest one…go figure. It starts out like a scene from a film. It’s dark and dramatic- the chanting into the guitar into the screaming really gets me going. I wonder what film is sampled there- I enjoy hearing Polish even though Nergal sings in English. If I saw this song live it would be well complimented by pyro.
visual: celebrating a victory in the middle of a bloody battlefield, but still being left unsatisfied.
So there you go. Go forth and preorder this album now.