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Behemoth fans and their wallets are certainly being kept occupied in the downtime between "The Apostasy" and the next album to be released by the outspoken Poles, as with the recent release of "At The Arena Ov Aion - Live Apostasy" we are now greeted by "Ezkaton". A mish-mash of an EP, "Ezkaton" contains 1 new song, 2 covers, two live modern Behemoth songs and most strangely an old (but ultimately brilliant) one in "Chant For Ezkaton 2000 e.v." in both re-recorded and live versions. One must ask the question why an EP is being released to glorify a song released 5 LPs and nigh on 10 years ago when Behemoth have had countless great songs since, not least on "The Apostasy", a question to which I speculate only the record label know the answer.
Though hardly being a purchase for anyone but the Behemoth-obsessive, "Ezkaton" contains some oddities that may be worth a listen to the casual listener. "Jama Pekel", a Master's Hammer cover, is the best song on the EP, sounding like a visceral Napalm Death with the brutality pushed to the limit. The best compliment a cover can be awarded is if it motivates one to check out the original band; this one does. The Ramones cover of "I'm Not Jesus", while not bad per se suffers primarily through being exactly what it is - a sped-up extreme metal cover of a punk song adversely affected by the extra technicality and tightness of a Behemoth once-over; some things are just better in their simple form. Re-recorded from the original "Satanica" version, "Chant For Ezkaton 2000 E.V." is cleaned up and Inferno's drumming brought to the fore to initiate one of the best intro riffs to any extreme metal song; it's great live and on record but best in it's original "Satanica" guise I maintain.
Behemoth have earnt the right for a slightly pointless EP such as this off the back of a career of consistently advancing, and brilliant, albums which has seen rise to a titanic status in their field. A worthy purchase for a completist but really it's Behemoth album no. 9 everyone really wants.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net