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Still improving... - 88%

Waspman, August 30th, 2006

1998 was an extremely important year the history of Behemoth. Inferno joined the band as a full-time drummer, bringing a whole new power and fury to the band with his incredible skills, while main man Nergal’s songwriting began the change from black metal to death metal while still combining elements of both. All of it coalesced into one foul monster of an album, PANDEMONIC INCANTATIONS.

Whereas the previous album, GROM, was a full-on black metal assault, this disc incorporated death metal influences into the band’s sound and toughened it up, making sound even more vicious and heavy than before. The focus of the lyrics also began to shift from paganism to more Satanic-based themes. In fact, only one major remaining link remained to the past: Nergal’s inhuman vocals, now even more abrasive and evil.

Crushing songs like “In thy Pandemaeternum” took the Behemoth sound to the next level, in large part due to Inferno’s insane drum ability. The man is a whirlwind behind the kit, flailing away with such precision that it’s scary. Of course, awesome drumming is totally useless without great songs to bash around, and Nergal wrote some of his best here with “The Thousand Plagues I Witness” and “Satan’s Sword I have Become”. Brutal and uncompromising, these songs are like poison darts straight to the heart of Christianity, bellowed forth by Satan’s chief war master.

Still, for whatever reason (apparently the band didn’t get much label support for this album), PANDEMONIC INCANTATIONS, much like the rest of pre-Satanica Behemoth is largely ignored. This is inexcusable. This album planted the seed for what Behemoth would eventually become, and is an amazing slice of death metal in its own right. Go now, find it, and revel in its power.

-------Originally posted at Metal-Rules.com-------