Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Settle down, purists - 95%

Vortic, January 23rd, 2018

What is this? A modern, well-produced, well-crafted black metal album that has been acclaimed by critics is getting hate? Geez, I wonder why!? I am noticing a pattern here ("cough" Blackwater Park "cough", ok, it's not really black metal, but still...) Is this album not "kvlt" enough? In all seriousness, Behemoth have reached a songwriting peak, there is a reason critics like this album so much and I am truly amazed by the quality of the music in The Satanist. These guys have been around since the early nineties, they started out as nothing special - norwegian BM copycats, and they've come this far, being one of the leading forces in the blackened death subgenre.

The riffing on this album is what the kids these days call "juicy". You've got a 50/50 of atmospheric black metal riffs and crushing death metal ones. A well maintained balance, some tracks showing just a tad bit more of each as to achieve diversity (woah, a diverse black metal album!). The songs are atmospheric and brutal, proving you don't need to record on a potato to sound "evil". As for the drumming, I have my doubts whether it's a machine behind the kit or an actual drummer. Those blast beats and double bass are, for lack of a better word, fast. Seriously, the guy is playing these at a tempo of around 200, pounding the shit out of the snare and cymbals. You can hear the bass, and it's great! Well, nothing out of the ordinary, it just fits the music and keeps a steady bassline that most of the old-school BM bands lack. And Nergal's vocals, a terrific death metal performance that is actually surprisingly catchy and you can even make out some of the lyrics. Synths are also present here and there, adding a bit more to the atmosphere of this truly menacing record. "In The Absence Ov Life" is one of the many stand-outs because of its implementation of a saxophone which, although heard for just a bit, is an important piece in the structure of the track.

So, nothing's perfect, right? Well, this applies to "The Satanist" as well. The lyrics, although written very poetically and with a main focus on storytelling, are generic. "Ooh, look at me, I'm a Satanist, so edgy, lol!" Also, being the prog-snob fag I am I will have to note that the album is not very, well, you've guessed it, PROGGY! But since this is bias from my side it does not in any way affect the rating. The production is staggering! All of the tracks are recorded and mixed meticulously and the whole thing sounds great. I don't mind lo-fi production but its overuse in extreme metal makes it as irritating and stereotypical as pop music (yes, I just compared extreme metal to pop, bite me). And as I've already said, the record is actually quite diverse. There is a core principle of songwriting as in any LP, but nothing is repetitive.

So, all in all, "The Satanist", whether or not you've enjoyed it, is an album which has very tight songwriting. It brings something new to the genre and makes a steady attempt at getting extreme metal out of the deep waters of the underground. No, it's not "poppy" and no, Behemoth haven't gotten softer (just watch the frickin' music videos, they are some messed up shit). It is still very harsh, very evil and deserves to be called true metal (as if that's a criterion). But one thing this album also has is great composition and expert musicianship. So, stop being a "kvlt kid" and enjoy the record for what it is, not all music should be judged equally.