Behemoth - Evangelion
Whenever a band becomes as established as Poland's Behemoth have, it can be hard not to fall into traps of monotony and repetitiveness. While Demigod (2004) was generally well-received and seen as a sort of pinnacle of the band's blackened death/thrash output, they followed it up with the lackluster The Apostasy (2007) and it appeared to some that they may have finally hit a wall. They took less time in hitting the studio again for this year's Evangelion. And while it is deemable as superior to the album before it, it is certainly nowhere near the watermark Behemoth set for themselves 5 years ago.
The album does the most damage over it's first three tracks. "Daimonos" is an intense introduction, starting with an audio scene of what sounds like hell on earth before jumping into a flurry of mixed percussion (Inferno, if you didn't know, is one of metal's most intriguing and talented behind a kit) and fierce riffs. Nergal's vocal approach hasn't deviated much at all from what it's always been, and they're very much average enough to either be somewhat enjoyed or simply looked over. "Shemhamforash" is one of the album's fastest and most chaotic tracks, done very well with creative leads and a big big finish. For accessability's sake, "Ov Fire And The Void" may be the defining track for the band and their want to further thrust their music into the mainstream. Catchy, melodically sound like few other tracks of theirs, it sticks in your head rather quickly. But it's here that the album loses its footing and quickly meshes together into one long, continuous blot of noise. No real distinguishing moments until the closing track "Lucifer", which is an above-average attempt at an "epic", coming in at just over 8 minutes and generally doing its job without droning on too long.
While Evangelion is a step in the right direction, Behemoth have not yet crawled out of the pit of repetitiveness they fell into once before. But this is certainly representative of having half of their creativity and originality out of said pit. Easily better than some of their albums, but nowhere near as good as others, it is a middle-of-the-road release for a band who should by all rights do better.
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