Behexen - Nightside Emanations
Debemur Morti Productions
Black Metal
10 songs (49:25)
Release year: 2012
Behexen, Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewed by Tony
Album of the month
It’s Christmas Eve! I am officially a Bachelor of History, the cool breeze is briskly kissing a sun-bathed Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Christians the world over are celebrating. Snow is falling elsewhere as lights and holiday cheer is spread abroad.

I cannot think of a better time to get back into the review game than the holidays. It is a time where cynical religion bashers like me use that extra gift card to buy the most hateful, devilish, and blackened music in the western world. Thus emerges this review a few months too late. Behexen have long been known as a talented if not raw group dedicated to the evil, serpentine, and burning. It seems as if they are on a perpetual competition with the rest of their Finnish scene-mates to produce the most vitriolic tunes that just make a church burning seem so appropriate. After a number of terrific releases in the 1990s, Behexen here follow up the mixed reviewed My Soul for His Glory with another in similar vein. However, where the aforementioned was long-winded at times and suffered from strange sounding production, Nightside Emanations succeeds where My Soul for His Glory oft times failed. This is no indication that the previous was a bad album. It just fell a bit short of where Nightside Emanations established the standards. The album spends much of its time on driving, mid-paced satanic chants that remind me more of Khold than Horna. Instead however, of the sometimes mid-paced deluge that grows old, Behexen throw in a number of transitory phases to their songs that make the meat of the album seem as fresh as can be.

There are hooks that make the album catchy without an onslaught of choruses and keyboard lines. Nightside Emanations encapsulates what makes Finnish Black Metal one of the most fun and old-school scenes in Europe. Simplicity is the name of the game, with minimal synth if at all, Behexen takes the seemingly barren landscape of rock designed instruments and makes a modern record without bells and whistles.

It seems as if the youth (that being, the high school and early collegians) that make up the next generation of our scene are not wowed by any band that does not incorporate vast trend-setting hooks and catches. Without some sort of electronic stimulation, many of these fans do not get what they get out of their favorites. This explains in part why Dimmu Borgir, a band whom I do enjoy, extending their longevity even after their best are nearing fifteen years old.

Yet, sometimes it is refreshing just to hear instruments of old. What a concept it is these days to not drown riffs and blast beats with ravishing synth. At first listen, songs like Circle Me frustrated me. Desiring to hear more songs like Fist of the Satanist, I was put off by the pace. However, after giving it some time, we see now that the point of the song is what makes it great. It has the riffs but is more of an incantation than an actual blasting fest. Of course, Behexen still have the disembodied voices that scare the shit out of casual listeners, but songs like Circle Me combine their spooky elements with a purposeful guise. Behexen aren’t looking to wow anyone with technicality, but have created a riff machine that makes everything old new again.

Killing Songs :
Death's Black Light, Circle Me, Awaken Tiamat
Tony quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Behexen that we have reviewed:
Behexen - Rituale Satanum (reissue) reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Behexen - By the Blessing of Satan reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
Behexen - My Soul for His Glory reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
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