Thursday 10 May 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Behemoth, "Messe Noire"

 By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full Length (Live)
Date Released: 13/04/2018
Label: Nuclear Blast

The group's performances are frenzied, the production is sterling and with a crystal clear sound thoughout, this makes “Messe Noire” a real pleasure to experience

“Messe Noise” CD//DD//2LP track listing:

1. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel (6:33)
2. Furor Divinus (3:21)
3. Messe Noire (4:41)
4. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer (6:20)
5. Amen (3:54)
6. The Satanist (6:35)
7. Ben Sahar (5:32)
8. In The Absence Ov Light (4:54)
9. O Father O Satan O Sun! (8:45)

The Review:

Now playing dates as part of Slayer's farewell tour, Poland's Behemoth could well be argued to be the heir apparent to the thrash kings' crown. While clearly the music is different, Behemoth's infernal songsmithing makes it a better fit than most. Paired with a long, ignoble history and you have a strong case to be made.

Although Behemoth has many touchstone albums to its credit, its tenth release, 2014's “The Satanist”, is easily near the top of its discography. It is the release from whence classics like "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" and "O Father, O Satan, O Sun" came. Moreover it was regarded by critics as a return to form after potentially uneven works just before. Behemoth's new album, “Messe Noire”, is, in fact, a live concert recording of “The Satanist” in full.

If you have never caught Behemoth live, do yourself a favor and watch some of the concerts – especially those in its native land – on YouTube. The group's frenzied performances are only matched by their enthusiastic audiences. “Messe Noire” captures Behemoth exceptionally well, even without the visuals.

From "Gabriel," the album's open, into the buzzsaw guitars of "Furor Divinus" and the title track, it is evident Behemoth is all in on the live aspect. The additional singers, symphonic elements and builds presented on “The Satanist” are replicated live and do not lose much luster on the audio version ("Messe Noire" has also been released on video format).

Since 1995's "Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)," Behemoth has cultivated a rabid fan base, one enthralled by its colorful imagery and history as well as its sound. Indeed, as the band's focal point, Adam "Nergal" Darski has a connection to these supporters that is uncommon even within metal. From his health difficulties – including a brief hiatus due to leukemia – and outspoken advocacy of Satanism, Nergal's intensely personal story is hewn from the cloth from which all the great rock music histories are cut. Where some bands prefer complete anonymity, Behemoth and Nergal's openness has proven the old maxim: people want something with which they can identify. You feel identification through "Messe Noire." The live version of "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer" has such weight, as you hear the crowd toward its close on into "Amen."

The production on "Messe Noire" is sterling throughout. The sound quality is crystal clear and the audience noise never overwhelms the stage show. This makes songs like "The Satanist" and "O Father" a real pleasure to experience.  Chances are, Behemoth fans have already picked up this April release. However, if you're a metal devotee who has dug Behemoth for any length of time, you'll be well served to pick up "Messe Noire" in its audio or video formats.

“Messe Noise” is available here

Band info: facebook