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I don't usually care much for EPs and usually buy them only if I'm really into the band in question releasing them. In this case this is very much so and I am not disappointed in it at all. Behemoth, as usual, bring the goods in their own inimitable style on this EP, and it makes a good stop gap effort until the release of "Evangelion" this summer. OK, I know, this came out last year, but still.
We start off with a re-recorded version of my absolute favorite Behemoth tune, the majestic "Chant for Eschaton 2000 EV", and it benefits from better production, a better vocal performance, and improved musicianship. Inferno is up to his usual godly standard on this and thoughout the EP as well, with his far more aggressive performance elevating this even higher in my esteem. Played on seven-string guitars it sounds even more evil to my ears. Followed by the one really new track on here, "Quadosh", this really shows Inferno at his best on here, whizzing through numerous tempo changes effortlessly ranging from slow and deliberate to his usual light speed blasting, and the intro even reminds me of Slayer's "South of Heaven", a very good thing to me. You can even hear Orion's bass near the end as it rears its head in the slow riffing. While it does seem a bit thrown together in spots, it still slays all in its path with eager bloodlust.
The cover tunes are actually rather cool, in my opinion. They chose atypical bands to cover--the little known Czech export, Master's Hammer, and the Ramones. Yeah, I know, the Ramones, but since when have you ever heard a death metal band cover them? Behemoth tears a new one in "I'm Not Jesus" and it sounds totally unlike the original to say the least. I've never had the pleasure of hearing the original version of "Jama Pekel", but I imagine they do it justice, and coaxing Root vocalist Big Boss into delivering the song (it is in his native language, after all) in an evil black metal rasp instead of his usual operatic style really works. His evil laughter adds an extra level of intensity, and this is powerful stuff. Gotta find the original now...
The live tracks are delivered well, but still cannot match the flat out blitzkrieg that is the Behemoth death machine in the live context. Having seen the boys live many a time now, I could imagine their trademark furious windmilling and Nergal's intense expressions as he delivered his vocals, but still...it's not the same. I'd really rather go see them live again, which will hopefully happen sooner than later.
Overall, this is worth getting for the studio tracks above all. I really don't go for live albums/tracks, hence the little time devoted to them in this review, and hence the less than 100% rating. Otherwise, it is still a worthy purchase, so give it a shot. Behemoth deserve your and my hard-earned cash for putting as much work into their craft as they do, so let's keep 'em rolling, shall we?