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Behemoth when they were still young - 71%

Felix 1666, October 17th, 2020
Written based on this version: 1997, CD, Solistitium Records

The older ones among us remember that there was a time when Behemoth created really intensive, exciting and uncompromising music. “Bewitching the Pomerania” is a document of this time. Chronologically, it built the bridge from “Grom” to “Pandemonic Incantations”, but both the new song (the opener) and the re-recorded versions of two previously released tracks rather tend to “Grom” than to its successor. It is still more or less pure black metal which is offered. “With Spell of Inferno (Mefisto)” stands in the centre of the release, even though the other tracks are pretty solid in view of their wicked guitars, their well-integrated breaks and their nebulous atmosphere. The only exclusive piece does not reach the level of the outstanding jewels of “Grom”, but it still sounds stable, robust and thunderous. Slightly erratic keyboards emphasize the atmosphere which is created by the powerful and coherent guitars, while Nergal’s vocals deliver the final demonic touch. This is definitely no lukewarm leftover, but a song that meets on an equal footing with the majority of the regular album tracks.

“Hidden in the Fog” could be a bit stormier, but its heroic fanfares give the song a special feature. Maybe some percent of power get lost due to the somewhat blurred production. Don’t expect a feast of transparency, but black metal has never been the style where clarity and cleanness play an important role. Given this situation, the swampy appearance of the production also has an impact on “Sventevieth”, a more aggressive track, but it’s aggression is also a bit gone with the Baltic winds. It therefore remains an open question whether or not it was really necessary to re-record these two pieces. Be that as it may; those who want to make their Behemoth collection complete cannot do much wrong with this EP, but everything would have been easier with the integration of “With Spell of Inferno” on “Grom”. However, guess it was just born too late.