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One Thing's For Sure...This Is Weird. - 68%

ict1523, August 22nd, 2006

Today Behemoth is something way different from when they first started their careers. Behemoth's demos were awesome and real raw black metal. While this album can still be classified as black metal, it does start to show some signs of change. I think that this album is definitely a weird one, because its not truly black metal, and it isn't as good as the demos or as good as the death metal with blackish influences that would come after this album and the next.

The "Intro" I am neutral on. It isn't bad, but it is a bit boring. Its mainly the same melody being played over and over again by some weird instrument which sounds like an organ with some weak drumming in the background. For me the album really starts with "The Dark Forest" which is a pretty good song. It starts off with an angry scream from Nergal, and starts off very fast and brutal before it slows a bit. Its a rather long song, but it varies and doesn't get boring. Nergal's vocals here still have a typical black metal rasp but it is rather high in the mix which isn't always typical in raw black metal albums. The song has some breaks where we only have acoustic guitar, and it has some female vocals, which are good, but once again makes this album weird in that you can't really classify it as black metal...how many true black metal albums have female vocals going back and forth with clean male vocals for a bit? I can't think of one. Towards the end we also have a pretty nice and melodic solo which gets into a pretty high tone towards the end of it. Overall a different song but its one of the best on the album.

"Spellcraft and Heathendom" starts off with a pretty catchy riff that keeps going for a while. The song is another pretty fast one, with some good vocals and fast drumming. At times though we get a melodic riff that comes in front of the main guitar. It gives the song a bit more of a melodic feeling and also a bit more atmosphere. Another decent song.

"Dragon's Lair" starts off with a melody from what sounds like a synth before the rest of the instruments come in. It is also a bit of a melodic song with a break for acoustic guitar. Pretty enjoyable as well.

The next song is "Lasy Pomorza". Being Polish, I was interested in how this song would sound since the lyrics are sung in Polish here, and I haven't heard polish vocals in black metal yet. The song isn't all that incredible though, a pretty dark riff that is repeated a lot with some raspy vocals. If it weren't for me knowing that this song had polish lyrics, I wouldn't be able to tell anyway because of how unclear Nergal is singing them. So I really wasn't impressed with this song.

"Rising Proudly Towards The Sky" is another pretty unimpressive song. It sounds a bit like "Lasy Pomorza" in that its a pretty typical black metal song with little atmosphere and dark riffs being played over and over. The only interesting thing in this song is the solo in the background being played toward the middle. Towards the end there are some weird vocals which almost sound like moaning and they got a bit on my nerves.

"Thou Shalt Forever Win" is another song that sounds like its two predecesors. It has a break for acoustic guitar and it has a solo but the other parts just get boring, with the weird vocals and the boring typical raw riffs being played over and over.

The closer, "Grom", is a much more interesting song. It still sounds like raw black metal (despite the weird vocals at times), but it has a chorus sung by a female. Her singing is weird, but its different, and a bit more interesting and less annoying than the weird male vocals. As typical it has a break for acoustic guitar. One of the better songs on here.

So even though many of the songs have a raw black metal feel which I like, there are several things that ruin this album and separate it from black metal. One or two of the songs are a bit melodic, which isn't a bad thing, but isn't typical to black metal, and the weird vocals. The female isn't bad, but when the guy comes in with the vocals, it basically sounds like a constipated man moaning loudly. Pretty annoying. It isn't a bad album by any means, but I was expecting more of a black metal feel still kind of like their demos.