Saturday, 18 April 2015

Behemoth "Xiądz" (2015)

Following the successful and critically acclaimed "The Satanist", Polish legends Behemoth give us another appetizer of leftovers, the title track "Nieboga Czarny Xiądz" from "The Satanist", a rerecording of a very early song "Moonspell Rites" from the same recording session and "Towards The Dying Sun We March"  from 2009s "Evangelion". Behemoth are well respected within the metal community, once an atypical Black Metal band they evolved from the shrill, dingy, low-fi, occult sound into a beastly, aggressive musical force, incorporating elements of Death Metal and creating the term "Blackened Death Metal", referring to the fusion between the two styles. In recent years there leanings have turned a little towards their routes from a thematic sense and this short EP is no shift from that path.

The second track "Moonspell Rites" makes for a fascinating listen when compared against its 1994 original. The thin, narrow grisly guitars and a clanging snare don't detach the music from its charm. Even with a lush, modern recording it couldn't offer the song much more than its original, with an ugly, harsh aesthetic. On the newer recording the solo is a little buried, as opposed to the originals gleaming tone bursting out over hazy walls of distortion guitar. Still the modern version is enjoyable, but there is a lesson to be learned.

The opening track "Nieboga Czarny Xiądz" is by far the records best track, its quality makes me question why it was left out of the track listing, but that perhaps is testament to the bands craft. The song opens with a temperate and steady atmosphere that aimlessly wanders through itself before, a few minutes in, seemingly imploding into a lavish smothering of melodic dissonance that oozes over with enigmatic guitar chords and a subtle eerie organ adding a spice to the moment. Although the track doesn't progress much further with this break, it was a beautiful moment on the record that had me playing it over and over.

 "Towards The Dying Sun We March" didn't have quite the same charm, a contained track slowly brooding and evolving through timing oriented riffs and ideas that climaxed with a slow drawn out bludgeoning riff and rung out chords that didn't amount to much. A fair song but paled by the other tracks. Decent but short, never a lot to talk about for a three track but at least a song to return to with  "Nieboga Czarny Xiądz".

Favorite Song: Nieboga Czarny Xiądz 
Rating: 4/10