Monday 20 January 2020

REVIEW: Behemoth, "Live At Maida Vale" (EP)

By: Thomas Gonzales

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 24/01/2020
Label: Nuclear Blast

“Live at Maida Vale” DD track listing:

1). Wolves Ov Siberia
2). God = Dog
3). Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica
4). Bartzabel

The Review:

It’s always a treat to review a live album, especially when it’s from a band whose discography is one of the most prolific and iconic of the last two decades. Preceding the tour edition of their most recent album “I Loved You at Your Darkest”, Behemoth offered a sinister preview of what’s in store when the full release drops later this month.

Since their establishment in the early 90s, Behemoth have moulded a caustic blend of Polish Black Metal, Folk Metal , and Death Metal, pioneering the landscape of provocative anti-theistic, extreme metal that can chill as much as excite.

Live at Maida Vale is a raw and intimate session of live recordings, featuring a deliberate selection of tracks that best showcase Behemoth's live musicianship. Delicate acoustic segments intertwine with crashing drum beats, and thrashing guitars to create a melodic framework often absent in the Black Metal genre. It’s these types of musical choices, such as using a children’s choir to decry the injustices perceived by the singer towards God, that elevate Behemoth into the pantheon of extreme metal masters.

While at times a touch quiet in the mix, the haunting choral sections are showcased beautifully in the context of the live album, and really communicate a primal passion behind their music, leaving the listener somber, as they draw near the darkness. These moments of introspection give way to the rapturous cries of lead singer Nergal, as he scream and growls over the cacophony. It’s a dynamic ebb and flow of melody and chaos befitting of a live album.

It’s no surprise then, that the standout track is probably the premier showcase of this styling. “God = Dog” has found massive success in the genre with the studio version, and when boiled down to its most basic elements, it breathes all new life into the song.  Featuring a wide array of musical techniques, “God = Dog” is powerful arrangement worthy of the accolade.

What more can be said about a band like Behemoth that hasn’t already been said? They are one of the best in the industry, and “Live at Mada Vale” is an opportunity to hear them at their most unfiltered.

“Live at Maida Vale” is available at all digital platforms

Band info: facebook