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Meh - 70%

masscows, December 16th, 2007

Let me just start by saying that Behemoth has been one of my favorite bands since I first got into extreme metal. Demigod seriously blew me away, and I proceeded to check out their other work. Zos Kia Cultus, Thelema.6 and Pandemonic Incantations, along with the aforementioned Demigod are all damn near masterpieces within the black/death genre. But when I got this and listened to it a few times, I found myself loving it sometimes and feeling downright frustrated at others. Why?

First off, the intro track, “Rome 64 C.E”. is awesome. It opens with some female vocals, leading into an epic-as-fuck chord progression, which resonates into the second track, “Slaying the Prophets ov Isa”. This song is probably the best song on the album, to be honest. The bridge with the chorus over it is fucking awesome, and there isn't a single bad riff in the song. The next song, “Prometherion”, while solid, is a little awkward. Here's why: the fucking blastbeats. They seem totally out of place considering the fact that the song is otherwise mid-paced, and they'd still be very overused even if they did fit the song's framework better. This routine follows suit for the remainder of the album; it seems like Inferno, while becoming more technically apt behind the kit, is just getting into the bad habit of using blastbeats way, way too much. But like I said, it's still a solid song.

From here, it just gets more and more dry. The arrangements on the longer songs (“Kreigsphilosophie”, “At the Left Hand ov God”, “Libertheme”) seem repetitive for the sake of being long. They probably wanted to cram more material into the album for length's sake (I mean, the album isn't even 40 minutes), but they fell right on their face in doing so. The aforementioned songs aren't necessarily bad, since they're chuck-full of great riffs, but they're just way too repetitive and drawn out. The more average-length songs (“Be Without Fear”, “Arcana Hereticae”, “Pazuzu”) aren't anywhere near the standards Behemoth set for themselves with previous releases. “Be Without Fear” is basically just a thrashier, not as good version of “Conquer All”. “Arcana Hereticae”, while a solid song, is basically just recycled from their other material. “Pazuzu” is a pretty bad song truth be told, it has some decent riffs and the choir saves it from being a total suckfest, but it's just not up to standards to be honest.

Now comes my biggest complaint: “Inner Sanctum”. The idea of this song may look great on paper, but the execution isn't just lackluster, it's awkward as hell. It starts promisingly enough: a cool piano intro, good lead-in riff, but the first verse with the narration and Warrel Dane singing is like I said, awkward as hell. Then the chorus kicks in. The riff in the chorus sucks, to be honest, and the drumming is metronomical and dull; not doing anything interesting but is just kind of there (and is pretty annoying). This repeats itself one more time, then it kicks into the second half which is just a collection of riffs that doesn't really add to the song, since they don't even fit the framework of the rest of the song at all and just seem like (again) an attempt at drawing it out. Basically, Behemoth tried to make an eerie, atmospheric song and failed.

So, even though so far I've mostly been complaining about the album, it's still decently solid. “Slaying the Prophets ov Isa” is downright awesome song, “Christgrinding Avenue” is great, and “Prometherion” is solid. Hell, alot of the songs have great riffs but are ultimately marred by poor/lazy arrangements. All in all though, The Apostasy just doesn't live up to the standards Behemoth has set for themselves over the years. If you’re looking to check out Behemoth, start with any of their other releases this decade.

Originally written by me for http://www.sputnikmusic.com