Behemoth is one of the most ferocious-sounding metal bands on Earth. Vocalist/guitarist Nergal roars less like Cookie Monster and more like a blast furnace; his voice pours from the speakers and blows your hair back. Since 2000's Thelema.6, the band has been on an unbelievable hot streak, releasing one marathon of unrelenting punishment after another. The Behemoth sound is dense without being monolithic; drummer Inferno combines machine-gun precision with thunderous power, driving the band relentlessly forward like a tank speeding downhill as Nergal's guitar solos arise out of the music like a demonic snake coiling out of an ocean of lava to strike the listener in the face. The nine songs on Evangelion don't represent any real stylistic left turns for Behemoth. The brutal riffing, avalanches of drums, and firestorm vocals are all present throughout, as are Nergal's lyrics, which are much more sophisticated and rooted in a deep understanding of the Old Testament than the usual, rote Christian-bashing of most death and black metal. There are, of course, some surprises -- closing track "Lucifer" is a doom-inflected epic with orchestral overtones and jarring bursts of noise, and "Alas, the Lord Is Upon Me" is equally dark and moody until its final moments, at which point it becomes a head-long death metal assault. Ultimately, Behemoth are absolute masters of the craft of making extreme metal. Every record is a savage beating one doesn't so much listen to as withstand, and Evangelion is no exception.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman