Release Date: Jul 17, 2007
Genres: Death Metal/Black Metal, Heavy Metal
Number Of Tracks: 11
The Polish metal kings have returned with a new offering, The Apostasy, which is destined to become both the defining release of the band's career and one of the most revered and dynamic offerings the genre has seen in years.
UG Team, on july 21, 2007 7 of 22 people found this review helpful
Sound: Behemoth is one of the biggest death metal bands in the world right now. They've got over 60,000 listeners on music tracking site Last.FM (that's more than Morbid Angel, Nile, Obituary and many other huge death metal bands), and have really brought the Polish metal underground into mainstream attention (along with Vader, Graveland and Sacrilegium). They started as a black metal band, with pagan lyrical themes and maximum atmosphere, since 1998's 'Pandemonic Incantations', they have begun a style change, from black metal, to blackened death metal. Since their last album 'Demigod', they have been a straight-up technical death metal band (though there are still some black metal elements), often compared to Nile due to their brutality, technicality and Middle Eastern influence (though I would say that Nile have more of all three). 'Demigod' was easily their most popular album, and introduced (along with the rather famous parody of 'Slaves Shall Serve', involving waffles) many people to their rather impressive back catalogue. They return in 2007 with 'The Apostasy'.
Even when they were an incredibly unknown little black metal band, Behemoth's guitar work has been very professional. The only consistent guitar player has been founder Nergal, but, as with 'Demigod', session guitarist Seth has contributed guitar parts to the tracks (both rhythm and lead). The pinch-laden riffs are hard hitting but do not really contribute to the song in any way aside from give the music a thick layer of brutality (there's very few moments on the album where I think Damn, that's a good riff, though 'Inner Sanctum' is a very notable exception).
However, the leads are a different story. Shared almost equally between Seth and Nergal, the leads and solos during instrumental sections blow me away. From simply harmonising with the riffs to diminished sweeping licks, these guys can play. They're always performed and produced with the right amount of emphasis (not all the leads are conventional 'solos' where the rest of the music repeats so the guitar can shine), and are played with taste and technicality (something which a lot of tech death bands find difficult). They've improved massively upon the sloppiness of some of the leads on 'Satanica' (I mean, if you don't have the chops to play something, don't put it in your song! ) and their compatibility with the riffs really impresses me. There's no moment when the guitarists let me down, because, despite the fact that the riffs can be rather generic at times (there's a riff in the middle of 'Libertheme' which reminds me greatly of Zyklon's 'Ways Of The World'), there will always be other things in Behemoth songs to listen to.
The bass player 'Orion' must feel a little cheated. Behemoth bassists of old were given great room to do what they wanted, and could be clearly heard, particularly on their debut 'Sventevith (Storming The Baltic)' (then again, Nergal played bass on that album, and we all know how much he loves the limelight). Since Orion joined, their production has taken another turn which essentially removes him from any kind of audibility. Perhaps if I could see these songs performed live I would know what Orion's performance is like, but alas, I haven't and so all I can say is that he is simply backing up the riffs, and that Nergal has cocked up the production when it comes to bass.
I feel that the one area where Behemoth's comparison to American titans Nile is justified is in the drumming department. Nile's drummer George Kollias is one of the best death metal drummers I've ever heard, and Inferno doesn't exactly pale in comparison. He can blast with the best of them (250+BPM blasting is no mean feat) and his fills are ridiculously technical. In fact, that's another reason I want to see Behemoth live, because this guy's hands must be a blur. I'm not a drummer myself so I can't go into too much depth, but honestly Inferno is instrumentally the best member of Behemoth. Listen to any album featuring him (that's 'Pandemonic Incantations' onwards) and you'll see what I mean. Brutal death metal is a very demanding genre to play in for a drummer, and it's played by such legends as Flo Mounier and Mike Smith, but Inferno definitely holds his own, once again.
Onto the one sound of Behemoth which rather annoys me: the vocals. Nergal's low vocals are fantastic, and there's no doubting it. He's got a very gruff shout which sounds like a late-80's Glen Benton, but he's been layering his vocals, normally with two or three tracks, one with those brutal lows, and another one or two with high pitched, almost black metal screeches. Both of these sound good when separate from each other (the screams on their black metal albums are fantastic) but when stacked on top of each other it really grates your nerves. Thankfully, Nergal has toned it down a little for 'The Apostasy' ('Demigod' was covered in those horrible vocals) and I'm glad because this time around his vocals do sound a fair amount better (even when they are layered). He has a great sense of rhythm and timing (one aspect which certainly favours Behemoth over Nile) and his delivery is near perfect. The unfortunate part is what he's actually saying... // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics that Nergal wrote for 'Sventevith (Storming The Baltic)' and 'Grom' were excellent, though of unoriginal themes. He used great imagery and delivered the right lines with the right style of vocals ('Hell Dwells On Ice' comes to mind), however since their musical change from black metal to death metal, the lyrics have also changed. His lyrics are now infantile, and while researched, are incredibly poor. A lot of the songs have little sections about what the lyrics are about, or where the ideas came from, and it's hilarious. First of all, Nergal spells the word 'of' with a 'v', because he's hardcore like that. He clearly researches his lyrics, but behind all the old fashioned language and apparent historical awareness, his lyrics are incredibly bad. As with a fair few Behemoth albums, there's a silly anti-Christian song title, this time 'Christgrinding Avenue' (which is probably the most ridiculous yet). Nergal's use of language is fairly impressive (in parts); however what he is trying to say is ridiculous. Even Glen Benton is more logical than this guy. He can call himself a rebellious intellectual all he wants but if you're not going for dark-humoured gore lyrics, do not include Eat the weak! F--k the flesh! Slit the throat! Consume the dead! in one of your songs. The song that stanza appears in ('Prometherion') is supposedly inspired by John Milton. Apparently his pal Krzysztof Azarewicz performed some 'incantations and spells' too. Nice. // 2
Overall Impression: 'The Apostasy' is a good album. It definitely beats 'Demigod', but I'm not sure if it's their best death metal album (I know that they'll never make a better album than Storming The Baltic, at least with their current style), beaten fairly convincingly by 'Zos Kia Cultus (Here And Beyond)'. It's a solid effort, and musically there are no major faults, but this is the first time that the lyrics have affected my enjoyment of an album in a negative way. They're, in a word, crap. Nergal thinks they're very clever and profound but honestly he just sounds like a little child who just found a dictionary of ancient words and decided he doesn't like Christianity. Despite being a good (music) writer, good guitarist and good vocalist, whilst I read the booklets of Behemoth albums I grow a rather strong dislike for Nergal. He's written some classic tunes (and there's a few on here, too, like 'Inner Sanctum' and 'Be Without Fear') but his lyrics are just ridiculous. Overall this album is a decent effort and definitely worth a purchase if you're into brutal death metal, though for Behemoth there are better places to start. // 7
Cannibal1, on july 27, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Demigod was said to be the greatest album Behemoth came up with until The Apostasy, that was correct. The Apostasy took Demigod, and wiped the floor with it and Demigod is an A+ album! There is so much on this album, I can't keep up with it. Behemoth stayed with the Behemoth style of music. Blcak metal without the keyboardist, while having a lot of death metal influence. It is incredible. I've owned this album for quite some time. I haven't stopped listening to it. If someone is in my car and complaining I listen to this too much, they can get the f--k out! Nergal's guitar work is incredible, Inferno is doing better on the drums now than ever, Orion is doing great on bass, despite having some problems throughout the recording. And might I add, the solos on this album have beatin the ever living shit out of the ones on Demigod. I wasn't that into the solos from Demigod, there were a few I liked, but not a huge fan of those. The solos from The Apostasy are amazing. I love them. Nergal and Seth (guitarists) really pushed themselves on this album. // 10
Lyrics: Behemoth did it again Nergal (vocalist, lead guitarist, lyricist), wrote lyrics which are very intellectual. Lyrics involving history, completely away from the norm of death metal. In addition to the lyrics I really like the fact that Nergal's growl is not as muffled as it was on Demigod. On Demigod, it sounds like Nergal's voice had distortion haha! On The Apostasy, his voice is much more clear. There are still times when I can't understand what he's saying, but it's still amazing to listen to. // 10
Overall Impression: With every Behemoth CD I've heard, which all but one or two there are a few songs I like on it. They blew me away with Demigod, thus becoming my favorite band hands down. With some bands, it takes time before their best stuff comes out. So I thought this of Demigod. I thought Behemoth was at that point of being able to do anything with instruments. Inferno (drummer) pushed his limits beyond what people can hear, Orion (bass) did a fantastic job, and Nergal (main guitarist, vocalist), wrote even better than before. So when I heard The Apostasy was due up, I had high expectations. And I guess they passed, because they surpassed everything I expected it to be. This is their best album by far! Prometherion is the number one single off of the album much like the song Demigod off of Demigod, Proemtherion introduces the world to the album, and blows you away. At the Left Hand ov God has an amazing acoustic intro, and the rest of the song carries you to the end of the song. Inner Sanctum has some great guest work, Arcana Hereticae has an outro which will make you wet yourself. And My personal favorite from the album, Be Without Fear. A very heavy song, I love this album so much. All the songs however are amazing, these are the best to me. I love the fact that the album is so good naturally. I can't describe how much I love this album. I was waiting for this shit in the mail a month, and it finally came, I listened to it and it met every expectation and then some. The music is so original yet stays with the Behemoth style of playing. Unlike Demigod, this album is not 24/7 blast beats. There is blast beating (its a f--kin death metal album, of course there is), but not excessive. There really isnt a part of it that I hate. I listen to the album nonstop, and still, I can't come with anything which I should dislike about it. it's sucha a great album. I strongly recommend this album to anyone out there who is into really good music that being death metal. Later all! // 10
Magero, on may 23, 2008 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: I only recently became a Behemoth fan with the last album, Demigod, and after listening to it on a near constant loop; I had high-expectations for The Apostasy. I was so used to the (triggered to hell as they may be) drums of Inferno, the buzz-saw guitar work or Seth and Nergal, and the immense, multi-layered, demonic vocals of Nergal. Now, most people by now would be screaming, But come on! The album delivers that and more, surely! Well, yes and no. At first glance, yes, the album is every bit as technical, as brutal and as immense as Demigod. But something's missing. There's an almost unenviably feel of repetition, boredom and a very uninspired Nergal. The album starts off all well and good with Slaying The Prophets ov Isa and yes, the song is promising. It's brutal, technical and makes you want to kill small animals. However, not long after this song ends and the next song begins, you start to wonder if they hadn't just made one song and hit loop every now and again. The song's are good, but the inventive riffs like those found on Demigod are few and fair between. // 6
Lyrics: The lyrics are easily some of the best Nergal has ever produced. In some points not particularly clever, but unlike many death metal bands, they manage to avoid simply being cheesy and go for interesting subject matter. The vocal work is more precise and concise than it was on Demigod, less I'm so demonic and more f--k OFF! . And that as it may be, I can't help but hope they bring back the multi-layering they used to use... // 8
Overall Impression: The good points for this album however, are really good. The guitar work HAS stepped up in technicality (if not inventiveness). The drums are still insane, I doubt Inferno could ever not be as mad as he is. They have done away with the triggered drums which made me cringe a bit, as they're choice of production has left the drums sound toooff in the distance. Almost like a live recording instead of a sound-proof studio. The highest point of this album is Inner Sanctum, the song with Warrell Dane of Nevermore fame on guest vocals. The song is creepy and brooding with a large feeling of hopelessness. I was very impressed with how they managed to make Warrell Dane's voice, the strings and a piano fit in with the brutal riffage, but they did it. All in all, this is a decent album, with nothing really BAD about it, but to me, it's still nothing special. // 7
Tormedhammeren, on august 29, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album will knock your teeth out and turn your insides into a fine moosh! The album starts off with a smooth, middle-eastern inspired intro, like the calm before the storm, leading on to the devestating "Slaying the Prophets Ov Isa" and "Prometherion", the album "hit". The Apostacy proves once again that Behemoth are still the leaders within the genre, and they show no signs of weakness with this terrific album. If anything, they're proving the opposite! The gut-churning "Be Without Fear" is still heavy and brutal, but much more accessible than their earlier work. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album is tremendous! The whole album is inspired by greek mythological themes and concepts of gods and godlike and mythological creatures. Well-written (and performed) songs, sprinkled with a little latin, and performed by Nergal is indeed a potent combination! Nergal's brutish, powerful voice is astonishing // 10
Overall Impression: Magnificent! This is a delicious combination of brutality and melody. Perfectly executed and produced. There is nothing left to say other than "Get off your asses and go buy this record! A definite 10 out of 10! The computer told me to write more, it's telling me I'm not finished writing this. What the hell? // 10
MassacreDeicide, on january 19, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I have been a long time Behemoth fan, the first time I heard Demigod it was amazingly technical and filled with diversity. Three years after the release of Demigod, they released The Apostasy. The face ripping speed, vocals, and solos are the sound that has defined Behemoth since they started. It was interesting because the day I bought the album in August and went to see them at Ozzfest 07 soon after. It was an amazing experience in itself to get the album, listen to it, and then hear the songs you love performed live. The thing I love about The Apostasy is the vocal demonic chorus that is the backing vocal talent that supports Nergal when he screams. Apart from being a really good band, they played at Ozzfest, which I think turned the original fans away. Ozzfest is known for heavy metal and death metal, and Behemoth is black metal, and some of the fans didn't appreciate it. It doesn't matter to me, it's still a venue. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are what you would normally expect from Behemoth. Slaying the gods, torment, and Poland. Their lyrics are a diverse look at the black metal world. The music makes the band, the lyrics, when you read them can add so much more though. If you are a long time fan of Behemoth, you will come to appreciate them more for their hate Christians lyrics. As for singer skills, Nergal (vocals, guitar) took a giant step in terms of defining his voice. Demigod sounded amazing, but the vocals were lacking, it sounded like he was straining to scream, but in The Apostasy, Nergal defined his vocal talents. // 9
Overall Impression: The Apostasy compares to Blood Red Throne, Vital Remains, and Nile very closely. The most impressive songs I have noticed were; Slaying the Prophets ov Isa, Inner Sanctum, and Libertheme. All of those songs are brutal and technical, Inferno (drums) had a field day with this album. I think it has been his title career album. I love everything about it, but the only turn off was a somewhat poor recording quality. If it were stolen (which it was) I would buy it again. // 10