Behemoth's Demigod was released relatively recently (remember that I live in the states, though, and stuff comes out in Europe months before) and is the latest album from a long running extreme metal band. Originally Behemoth was a black metal band, and while their old works are respected to this day, what I heard of them never interested me. But at about the release of 1999's Satanica Behemoth switched over to a death metal style of playing. Behemoth is (and has always been) the rabid malice-ridden baby of Nergal (his face you would recognize from my avatar (aren't I the fanboy?)), who writes most of the music and most of the lyrics (the rest are written by a poet friend of his whose name consists of so many consonants that I will not even attempt to type it).
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I was understandably excited about the release of Demigod. I loved their last two releases Thelema 6 and Zos Kia Cultus, so when Demigod was thrown into my stereo the glorious sound of Behemoth's continued path of destruction was awaited with eager ears. However, I was slightly disappointed. Thelema 6 was an amazing, groundbreaking death metal album that was totally unique. Zos Kia Cultus diluted the great Behemoth style by falling back towards generic death metal ways of playing, but it was still very much Behemoth. Demigod makes the Behemoth sound all but obscure, doubling the slightly generic style Zos Kia Cultus had and making it a majorly generic style.
While change in a band's sound is welcome and wanted from album to album, de-evolving is not a good thing. I would rather have some intelligent rehashes of Thelema 6 than watch Behemoth slowly sink into a faceless vortex of unoriginal death metal. The fact is, I don't believe Behemoth will turn back from this. The press is loving Demigod, heaping praises upon it that are undeserved.
But enough of my bashing. Demigod does have a few things going for it. First of all, the musicianship is top-notch, as always. The vocals, while many times more faceless than the great Thelema 6 vocals, are still very recognizably Nergal, which is a good thing. The lyrics are as good as they've ever been. The Behemoth style established on Satanica and Thelema 6 is still present, even if it is reduced to being an influence more than a main part.
The short version: Demigod will appeal to the Behemoth fan, even if it is a little disappointing. If you weren't so keen about Behemoth before, don't bother with it.
- Like I said, Demigod has taken a more faceless and generic approach, so the songs sound very much alike. While I can tell the difference between them, there aren't any that stand out.
The Breakdown: (10 point scales)
(*not an average, median, or whatever)