I will likely be executed by blood eagle for my review of Behemoth’s new EP A Forest. I understand saying “the font alone looks like a straightedge kid from Idaho discovered the Microsoft Word font dropdown menu yesterday” will make me look like a heathen. I accept saying that “Nergal sounds like he’s coughing midsentence in a Dracula musical” makes me a target for being on the stake. I completely understand that when I say “I saw that album cover in a similar Hot Topic sale poster” will mean voodoo dolls of me worldwide will be made.
I sealed my fate with unwielding fear. I still listened and gave A Forest the chance it deserves.
Let me extend an olive branch…or a torch. Behemoth deserves accolades for expanding into the deciduous realms in their new four song EP on Metal Blade Records. The habitat of witches, magic rituals, ghouls, wolves, and mysterious ghosts all lay in wait within forests. Behemoth captured the gestalt of nature and mixed it with the 80s goth of The Cure, paying homage to Crawley divination. Any fan will appreciate the crossover and salute.
However, it sounds misguided and without compass. Chilling atmosphere and evil guitar sounds help Nergal march in the intense title track, yet his vocals sound cracked and campy. The live version with Niklas from Shining sounds slightly more sinister but is still dissonant. Telling his fans “F*** you” at the end of “A Forest (Live)” would not compel loyalty from me.
Two originals are burned into the new Behemoth offering. “Shadows Ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha” could be a motel sign that lost a few letters in a windstorm. The drum intro is incredible and honestly my favorite part of the EP. “Evoe” does much of the legwork. Nergal growling “Mephistopheles” made it a stellar addition to the tomes of the Gdansk natives.
Ending at a tight 19 minutes, Behemoth is giving a taste of the journey into the Black Forest and gives fans a peek behind a veil of their influences. I couldn’t tell if my lack of enthusiasm is because I am too innocent to understand it, or too evil to properly acknowledge it.
If you want to draw and quarter me in a public square because of my blasphemy, I omitted my address for a reason.