Album Review: The Apostasy

Few bands in the Extreme Metal milieu seem as image conscious as Poland’s Behemoth. From the promo pictures on the band’s myspace profile to their masterfully crafted homepage, Behemoth have developed a visual style that acknowledges their roots in Black Metal yet at the same time creates a theme unique to the band itself. This style is quite befitting of what is easily becoming one of the most popular Death Metal bands in the world. Behemoth’s visual flair was in it’s infancy when the band began the transition from straightforward Black to a synthesis of Black and Death Metal. The Behemoth style has developed by leaps and bounds over the course of the band’s history, simultaneous with the band’s conversion to a musical ethos that is easily more Death than Black. And, to be perfectly honest, one would be hard pressed to find a band anywhere in the world that looks as damned awesome as does Behemoth.


But what of the music? Behemoth has gotten progressively better with each album they release. Does The Apostasy, being the most recent endeavor of Nergal and company, continue this trend? The answer, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is an emphatic yes.

From a production standpoint, the album is razor-sharp. Every note, every strike of the drums and every bestial growl rings crystal clear (though the growling vocals, in true Metal fashion, require a glance at the liner notes before they can be comprehended). The musicianship is just as sharp, if not moreso. Each song is full of great riffs, and the drumming is some of the best the listener is likely to hear in all of Death Metal. Furthermore, the trifecta that is Behemoth have incorporated a vast array of sounds into their latest effort, from choral vocals to brass instruments to elements of jazz piano. From start to finish The Apostasy is a wall of crushing sound that manages never to feel too repetitive or boring.

With their latest opus, Behemoth have crafted a modern Death Metal masterpiece. The Apostasy is not to be missed by any aficionado of Black or Death Metal.I have only one complaint, and that is that Behemoth isn’t playing Seattle any time soon. Not even on this year’s installment of the seminal Ozzfest tour! Drat.


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