behemoth hysteria

BehemothOpvs Contra Natvram

Nuclear Blast
16th September, 2022
8
BRUTAL!

Perhaps absorbing some of the criticism that I Loved You at Your Darkest had seen them stray perhaps just a bit too far from their blasted path, Behemoth veer back to a more blackened and violent trajectory on their twelfth studio album.

MORE: PARKWAY DRIVE: “It’s About Encapsulating The Beauty In It, Through The Darkness” //  DUNE RATS: Dance Lessons and Thinking Outside The Box REVIEWS: WAAX: At Least I’m Free // I PREVAIL: True Power // PARKWAY DRIVE: Darker Still // STARCRAWLER: She Said // STRAY FROM THE PATH: Euthanasia // THE WONDER YEARS: The Hum Goes On Forever

While Opvs Contra Natvram retains the theatrics and atmospheric symphonics that Behemoth have worked into their music over time, it is well balanced with blackened death fury.


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It’s a tone set early, as Malaria Vvlgate rips forth from the ominous opener with a flurry of blastbeats and icy tremolo picking before giving over to the mid-paced and symphonic The Deathless Sun. A more brutal Behemoth raises its head on tracks like Disinheritance with its scathing lead guitar trade-offs and Neo-Spartacvs, while elsewhere Off to War! utilises both sides of their character. Nergal of course sounds suitably evil and enraged, his caustic howls and furious roars cutting across the darkened hellscapes he and his band throw up.

As a whole, this is another strong entry in Behemoth’s impressive catalogue, although it isn’t quite as compelling as The Satanist or Demigod, the albums where Behemoth really hit their stride as songwriters and metal extremists.

The grandiosity of the two previous albums pared back, Opvs Contra Natvram revels in its violence, but there is enough subtlety and restraint that it doesn’t ever become a ceaseless battering, and the closing epic brings all those elements together as it moves between dark solemnity and harrowing black metal. Every track features a heearty riff, hook or intricacy that makes choosing a clear highlight stand out, even if some of them seem weirdly cut short. As a whole, this is another strong entry in Behemoth’s impressive catalogue, although it isn’t quite as compelling as The Satanist or Demigod, the albums where Behemoth really hit their stride as songwriters and metal extremists.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Disinheritance, Malaria Vvlgate, Ov My Herculean Exile
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Watain, God Dethroned, Akercocke




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