Sound — 8
Zos Kia Cultus (Here And Beyond), was released in 2002 by Behemoth and falls into the Blackened Death genre. The quality is very good, and I'm listening to it now actually... Nergal's voice is closer to that of the Apostasy here, there's some layering but not to the extent of Demigod. It isn't black, although he'll do high shrieks at times. Guitar's aren't particularly memorable, but they're not bad by any means. The bass guitar isn't too audible but you can hear it distinctly at times. The drumming is great, it is Inferno after all. Fast doublebassing? There. Blast beats? Got them. Fills? Bring them. 01.Horns ov Baphometh: starts with a soundbite mix intro concerning Christians and Sunday then the instruments creep their way in before hitting the mark. Good track, the end guitars sound eastern. 02.Modern Iconoclasts: a riff reminds me of Arch Enemy's Dead Bury Their Dead I think it was. I think this is more of a guitar driven track with harmonies and more memorable riffs. Good track, too. 03.Here and Beyond: it starts close to how Iconoclasts did, but that's all the similarity it bears. Good guitar work. Seems to end weakly though. 04.As Above So Below: this is a stronger track, with guitar playing and drumming that gets "catchy". Towards the end, it stops, but comes back for more before fading out. One of the better songs. 05.Blackest ov the Black: this song switches from blasting/tremolo parts to slower, then back. I think the strength of this one lies in the lyrics. Nothing special otherwise. 06.Hekau 718: this is an odd track, it's a 54 second filler basically, with chanting and trippiness. 07.Harlot ov the Saints: the vocals here sound more black, and there's a lot of blasting. The guitars sound good. A high paced track overall, and a good one too. 08.No Sympathy For Fools: I love this song. It's a high tempo song that makes me think "deathly thrash", but it's not thrash. Constant double bassing with impressive blasting near the end. Everything is good here. Definitely one of the top songs from this album. 09.Zos Kia Cultus: title track. Not as uptempo as the previous one, but it loses no ferocity. Guitars and drums sound great. Another top song. 10.Fornicatus Benefictus: another 53 second filler. But looking at the lyrics, it's basically a perverted "Our father" prayer. I laugh now looking at how they did it. 11.Typhonian Soul Zodiack: strong drumming and guitars here. And the way the vocals are arranged is done well, particularly during the man crying out with a growling echo. A strong track. 12.Heru Ra Ha: blast beats and layered, almost frantic vocals make this track a strong closer. The guitar solos seem to try and make a last assault on you before the CD is over. Leaves you with a good impression.
Lyrics — 9
Well this IS blackened death metal, so unless you have an ear for it, you won't understand what there saying. But looking at the lyrics by pamphlet or Google, you can see that the lyrics aren't simply *guitar* *blast beats* "aaahhhhhhhhh!". Behemoth's lyrics are influenced by Thelemic writings and Eastern stuff. Reading it, you can't really understand some of the things mentioned but you can still apreciate the complexity of it.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a good album. Not as good as the Apostasy or Demigod I think, but still good. A couple tracks could've been left out (Hekau 718, Fornicatus Benefictus) and it wouldn't have hurt. Top songs for me are: No Sympathy For Fools, Zos Kia Kvltvs, and As Above So Below. I think the highlights of Behemoth are the drumming of Inferno, and Nergal's great-mythical-beast-dying vocals. The guitars, as mentioned, aren't terrible, but it seems like there could be more. You can hear the "more" on their next two albums though. If stolen, I'd be very mad as it's only on my iPod and I have plenty to treasure there. It's a strong album that has plenty of power. Enjoy.