Too many of you reading this Behexen are no strangers to your conscious mind whether it be namesake and well deserved respect and notoriety, their ancient but ever progressing ugliness in sound and content, or both. Regardless of where your coming from on Behexen familiarity make no mistake in thinking that this is anything less than a grotesque monstrosity of combined evil, cryptic, epic, intellectual pursuits with the clear production and incredible craft that takes a black metal (or any metal release for that matter) to that unimaginable depth that becomes like a possession of haunting of the mind and body where it’s more than a mere “listening” experience.
Behexen do not entertain they stimulate!!! Their use of the A-melodic (anti-melodic) guitar tones in conjunction with the clean trebly buzzing powerchord rhythms they sound legitimately inhuman and traditional black metal but rather than banging around creating chaos with them Behexen prefer to create solos and structures. You can certainly feel the rhythms honing in for the kill like buzzards of Hell hovering around you as you suffocate on your own feces as a result of being handed your self righteous pretentious ass literally on a platter on every song, but with “We Burn With Serpent Fire” the band steps things up a notch with the lead/solo work that creates an additional injection of horror and intensity that one cannot get from most raw and clamorous bands in the genre (of course I love those as well, but for different reasons).
“Luciferion Will” feels like the 100+ degree heat burning around me with this heat wave, there’s no wind at all and the heat just sucks the life out of me like being cremated alive. The combination of arpeggio leads and a strong echoing vocal chorus effect from behind the mix makes each song such as that mentioned and now “Awaken Tiamat” feel as if the album is climaxing as if the Devil is being called upon and arriving for the true awakening. The “behind-the-mix” vocal style has always been a favorite of mine, but with the clean production and the spacious feel of the arrangement of all of the sound elements the atmosphere is even more compelling. The fact that “Awaken Tiamat” is an actual anthem that’ll incinerate the uninitiated from its sinister heat doesn’t hurt either.
Whatever you’re in the mood for Behexen deliver it here: solid metal leads, well placed and memorable solos, varying rhythm structure, a clean and artistic production that creates something cinematic and degenerate, and a traditional black metal sound all the way through that’ll appeal to fans of the style across the board. Trust me, straight on forward down the shaft of shattered souls from the pulverizing “Wrathful Dragon Hau-Hra” all the way to “Kiss of the Dark Mother” you’ll be burning in Hell and burning others with you.
Let me put it to you another way: They typically can’t make a great supernatural/demonic horror film these days so I stick with classic like The Exorcist, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,Let Me In, and documentaries with re enactments of the hauntings and the victims narrating them, and albums like Nightside Emanations to give me my thrill.