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-I- - 97%

HealthySonicDiet, February 12th, 2004

This is such an interesting album. There are so many awesome things about it. First of all, the cover art is absolutely godly. I'm not sure what deity that is with four arms and a goathead, but it evokes fear and wonder in me. Even the band's logo is a bit frightening.

Second of all, in the liner notes, Nergal explains the lyrical inspiration behind almost all if not all the songs on the album and he goes on little tangents about certain philosophical beliefs, the history of them, relics, and on and on and on. This guy, and the band in general, is so intelligent and heavily questions the world around him. I find it especially interesting when he denounces Christianity. I'm not atheist or satanist and I'm not telling people not to believe it, but I respect artists that will openly express their views on it, especially in their own CD slipcase.

Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this album is the music, of course. I just got done reviewing Immolation's latest album Unholy Cult, in which I proclaimed it to be "A necksnapping nightmare", but after sitting through this monster, I'd have to say that headbanging to this may very well cause an aneurysm, whereas Unholy Cult would probably just cause a very sore neck. Pretty much every song on here, with the blatant exception of As Above, So Below(which is very cool in its own right)is just totally annihiliating. Pummelling blastbeats, incredibly strong death/black vocals, thick/crushing guitars similar to that of Nile(in fact, this album heavily reminds me of Nile because I sense a very exotic, unconventional theme to this music, although I sense that it has more of a Sumerian atmosphere than Egyptian), and just an overall engrossing atmosphere prevails on this album.

I've been wondering whether it would be practical(and safe) to headbang to this. Well, almost every song is so damned fast that I end up violently bobbing my head to the music rather than headbanging. I usually associate headbanging with mid-tempo metal, including some thrash, but I look like I'm having a fucking seizure trying to headbang to this. Somebody please teach me another method of headbanging, because I just CAN'T sit still while listening to Zos Kia Cultus and I don't want to damage my neck too badly. Haha.

A lot of people I know have heard bands like Behemoth who have very harsh vocals and they automatically assume that the band are a bunch of devil worshippers and say "Man, you can't even understand what the guy is saying". I'm sorry, but I have a hard time understanding rap and even bubblegum pop sometimes too, but does that mean that the whole purpose of the song is devoid now, just because I just can't fucking understand some words here and there? NO. Harsh vocals in this style of metal are existent for a reason...to show aggression and to help supplement the dark atmosphere of the music. I dare you to invite Justin Timberlake to take the place of Nergal. That's right, all you teenyboppers of the world who happen to run across 'underground' music and totally brush it off...if you don't like the vocals, just replace them with your favorite stars of the moment. I'm sure the music will make a whole lot of sense.

Sure, some bands are blatantly satanic, but people don't take time to read into these bands. Often, there is much more than meets the eye. From reading the liner notes and listening to the unbridled fury of the music on this album, the listener can see that he or she that is dealing with a band that is tired of the corporate bullshit and has many interesting things to share with the world. One can tell that Behemoth and similar bands just aren't shallow enough to be on the radio talking about their recent breakup or how they like the way that girl dances across the room, etc.

Heh, forgive me, I got a little ahead of myself, but since broadening my horizons into the very controversial world of death metal and reading the liner notes to this album, I felt very compelled to shed light on the many fallacies attached to this genre of metal, and show that there are more death metal and black metal bands out there who aren't explicitly blasphemic. I just realized that Satanism is something privy to Behemoth, but respect has to be given to them for having a very open, solid belief system that governs their music. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the music isn't in praise of Satan necessarily. I just think Satanism is a recurring theme. If more controversial bands would just explain how they operate mentally in their CD slipcases and such, death metal, black metal, and many other controversial forms of music would be more popular and tolerable,etc.This album is just a work of art. Highly recommended.