Behemoth - Satanica
Avantgarde Music
Blackened Death Metal
8 songs (35:12)
Release year: 2000
Behemoth, Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Hailing from Poland, Behemoth is known far and wide as a juggernaut in the blackened death metal world, though just ten years ago they were far less well known than they are today. Satanica is the first album I heard by the band, and to this day I still regard it as one of the heaviest and downright brutal albums I have ever heard. Nergal's guitar work and vocals are superb and every song hits you with an energy that few bands can match, let alone surpass. The songs themselves are also varied enough to keep the listener's attention, and the entire album is only about 35 minutes long (8 songs), making it pretty easy to take in all at once.

The album begins with the extremely intense Decade Of Therion. This song just pummels you from the very start with the drumming really being the heaviest and most energetic element in my opinion, the thick guitar riffs a close second. Nergal's voice is as brutal as ever, easily overpowering the instruments, but not too much. Something I have always enjoyed about Behemoth is Nergal's vocals. They really are different than any death\black metal growl I have ever heard, and you can just feel the intensity blasting through your speakers from this guy and I can still understand much of what he's saying, which I consider a bonus in this genre. Lam comes in next and does not let you rest for a second, the drums constantly pounding and the guitars starting off with bleak, black metal tinged blasts. The stop and go riffing used here is top-notch, heaviness and power punching its way along. You really begin to notice in this song that the production is centered on the low end of the sound, giving you that pounding, crushing feeling, while still being accentuated by higher pitched guitar breaks and even solos from time to time. The guitar work gets a bit more interesting with Ceremony Of Shiva and the familiar quick drumming of Inferno keeping things at a quick yet varied pace. This is a fast song that has a memorable chorus and tends to create more of an atmosphere of darkness with slight tempo changes and some synthesizer elements. The Sermon To The Hypocrites is probably the heaviest track on the album, and for me one of the heaviest blackened death metal tracks I've ever had the pleasure of having my eardrums blown out by. This is also a longer song on the album, and it just doesn't get old with its crushing, black metal inspired guitars and memorable chorus. The atmosphere created by sharp guitar work and Nergal's throaty growls is second to none in the modern death metal world. The only thing that would have made this song better in my opinion is a good guitar solo. Chant For Eschaton 2000 really sums up the album, beginning with some melodic tremolo guitar picking and thick double bass drumming. This song is slower and a bit less intense than some on the album, but it leaves me with a sense of the darkness that this album seems to represent, Nergal's distorted vocals adding something different and creepier to the atmosphere along with some synthesizer work.

As I mentioned earlier, this is actually one of the few Behemoth albums that I can listen to from beginning to end without stopping. Every song just hits like a sledgehammer, yet they are also quite varied and keep my attention for the entire duration, albeit not as much of a feat with only 8 tracks, but still something I enjoy. The length of the album is not too short and not too long, but just right in my opinion. With this album Behemoth showed that they could do death metal and black metal together, and do them very well. As I mentioned from the beginning, Nergal's vocals and guitar work shine in every song, a great complement to the intense blasting drums laid down by Inferno. The album keeps things short and sweet, leaving me satisfied yet wanting to hear more. Fortunately Behemoth has continued to step up their songwriting and playing ability throughout their career. The energy and power you can feel in every song on Satanica is a testament to the legacy they have built and continue to build. This is truly a great album that any fan of death or black metal should be able to appreciate.

Killing Songs :
Decade Of Therion, Ceremony Of Shiva, The Sermon To The Hypocrites, Starspawn, Chant For Eschaton 2000
Khelek quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Behemoth that we have reviewed:
Behemoth - The Satanist reviewed by Jared and quoted 70 / 100
Behemoth - ...From The Pagan Vastlands reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Behemoth - Evangelion reviewed by James and quoted 92 / 100
Behemoth - The Return Of The Northern Moon reviewed by James and quoted no quote
Behemoth - The Apostasy reviewed by Dylan and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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