Track Written, Recorded & Performed By Mury Poppinz of No Pretense
Track Produced By Kato
Track Mixed By Corpsey G
Video Shot & Edited By Mury Poppinz
For all ANONS both realized and unrealized…
Daniel Jordan (Has worked with Mac Mall, Dolemite and even Blowfly) of Reel Life Productions speaks out on
the war on drugs and privately owned prisons.
Review by Grayson Currin of Pitchfork
Given that The Satanist is not only the first album by Polish firebrands Behemoth in five years but also their first since frontman Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, you might expect them to be restless at the start, to burst open in a characteristic tangle of extreme metal. But they begin slowly, a sinister riff cutting patiently through open air. The drums march rather than maraud, while the bass pads the pocket. It feels like the preamble of a classic rock anthem, perhaps the sequel to “Hells Bells”. But really, Behemoth want to make sure you can hear Nergal and understand him when he opens with purely heretic invective: “I saw the virgin’s cunt spawning forth the snake,” he hisses, clearly audible in his sibilance. “I witnessed tribes of Judah reduced to ruin.” Rather than emerge as though they have something to prove through speed and precision, one of heavy metal’s most popular bands elects to return with something to say that’s as vile and startling as most any moment in their previously impious two decades. Even the precipice of death, Nergal implies, didn’t soften his sacrilege.
The Satanist is Behemoth’s 10th album, and in many ways, it reflects a synthesis of their stepwise, two-decade journey between atavistic black metal, expert death metal and a mid-career hybrid of the two. During the last decade, a bright studio gleam has often made their material feel cold and polished, as though the execution had superseded the core. This didn’t necessarily make for bad albums as much as it did middling ones, records that you could hear twice and move beyond. The Satanist doesn’t give up on high-end recording; in fact, with its occasional exultant choirs, horn fanfares, and acoustic interludes, it’s a complex and deliberate affair. This time, the sheen only highlights what’s beneath the surface, revealing these songs’ eccentricities and thrills rather than buffing them out. During “In the Absence ov Light”, for instance, Behemoth shift suddenly from a black metal raze into an impasse where acoustic guitar and soft jazz saxophone waft beneath a spoken passage from Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. When the band returns, though, Nergal’s impatient voice and Inferno’s unsettled drums arrive with unexpected force, like closed fists swinging through the dark. It’s the sort of thrilling confluence of structure and sound that Behemoth has lacked on recent records.
What’s more, these dynamic songs keenly balance the aggressive with the accessible, so that even the most volatile tantrums open wide at some point. After a slow-building introduction, “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” springs into a blast beat, with a pick slide leading to riffs pulled taut beneath Nergal’s rasp. But the refrain, a corruption of the Lord’s Prayer, is instantly unforgettable; the guitars change their pattern so that their notes push upward beneath the tune, countering the power with just a touch of pop. And wedged between a blues-like solo and an eruption of blast beats, the closer “O Father O Satan O Sun!” crests in a chorus worthy of an Amon Amarth anthem. The Satanist is vividly rendered, with bright moments that shine outward from the prevailing doom and themes that wind into dense knots and unravel into electrifying leads.
Much as they’ve always done, Behemoth state their intentions and ideals in hyperbole throughout The Satanist, with polemics that pass beyond the threshold of mere anti-Christian antagonism. Nergal writes of massaging mold into pages of scripture and infecting the cross with woodworms. That’s presumably a rather steep barrier to entry for many, but the rhetoric is meant to be a tad ridiculous, something Nergal plainly admits. “I really hope that people can read between the lines,” he told Loudwire earlier this year. He’s long clashed with the Polish government over his expressed religious views. “I really hope they don’t take things in a very literal way.” And that is the real trick of The Satanist, an album that, in spite of its title and tone, ultimately feels less about “bit[-ing] the withered hand of God” than besting the odds and avoiding the comfort of conformity. This is something that Behemoth’s recent albums have refused to do themselves, after all.
Nergal is careful to stretch his style sheet of references beyond the Devil and Christ; he folds Latin and Coptic concepts into these lines, even nodding to John Milton in one passing moment. “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” might crib some of the Bible’s key concepts and phrases, including Gabriel’s horns, but it actually celebrates any collapse of absolute power. And near the middle of “Amen”, Nergal falls out of the accelerating pace and yells the album’s most essential phrase in his lowest tone: “Credo undone”, he bellows, stretching that last syllable until it blurs into the record’s most delirious solo. That proclamation has less to do with the Devil and more to do with everything else in the world. There was some doubt, after all, if Nergal would even live long enough to make another album. And there was certainly more doubt than hope that, if Behemoth did finish a tenth record, it would stand somehow as a late-career renaissance. But The Satanist is a terrific coil of most everything Behemoth have ever done well, a strangely hopeful vision of hell wrested away from its very grip.
I finally had an evening in Billings Montana that was dedicated to Black Metal. Phoenix Arizona’s Abigail Williams & Montreal Quebec’s Erimha tore it up! After the show, I got into a fistfight with my Brother In Law over something that wasn’t my fault. That got me stranded in Billings for a little while with my friend Wes, but I decided to make it my goal to meet DJ Abilities and it happened. Bad Tenants opened and were damn good. They played trumpets and a style akin to A Tribe Called Quest, with an infectious turntable. Abilites was energetic and looked super happy/amazed when the crowd soared together, riding upon the lyrics for the Eyedea & Abilities Track "Now". Abilities eyes were glowing in happiness, like a first grader opening their Super Nintendo for the first time on Christmas, thanks to the positive crowd reaction. I Took a Taxi home afterwards.Was fun indeed!
Photo 1: Me holding up Abigail Williams Vinyl for their E.P. Legend, featuring a cover of Metallica’s Fight Fire With Fire.
Photo 2: Me with Black Metal outfit Erimha, without their corpse pain. They are currently signed to Victory Records
Photo 3: My friend Wes and I with Bad Tenants, after they killed the stage!
Photo 4 and 5: DJ Abilities, my friend Wes and I.
With Rick of This Or The Apocalypse and Shai Hulud! Rick and Matt were super kind and super appreciated we went to the show! Ever after Sworn In and Sirens and Sailors dropped off the bill, due to vehicle trouble.