I know shit about Behemoth, okay? I know of them. I have friends who dig them and know I’ll be witnessing them live for the first time when I see Slayer for the last time this summer. And honestly, I feel like going in blind is a great way to experience an unknown-ish band (To me, we’ve established) for the most part. But then Messe Noire: Live Satanist came across my desk and I decided to throw caution to the wind and just dig in.
But I digress.
Looking for a primer before Behemoth takes the stage to open for Slayer on their farewell tour? Well, this is it! On first listen, Behemoth is fast, heavy, and intense. Pretty frelling epic, too! And as an aside, I have only a passing sense of the originals on here which is the sequential order of 2014’s The Satanist culled from live performances in Warsaw on October 8th, 2016 and from the Brutal Assault Festival, also from 2016.
Opener “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” is just perfect. Perfect opener. Perfect feel. Perfect Behemoth introduction! Mysterious yet sinister until the sampled screams fade and the dirge begins with Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński’s rumbling drums and Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski’s bass providing a small sense of comfort before the track really lets loose and Nergal’s growl overtakes all amongst the blast beats and shredding.
Then there’s the (live album) title track where Nergal rips on the guitar and later “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”, which sounds like the greatest Rotting Christ throwback complete with a glorious breakdown. It’s the kind of a song that, as a listener, you can just picture being played in a packed theater as the crowd chants along during these call and response moments while lovingly beating each other up in the pits.
“Amen” keeps the momentum, and the mosh pits, going for this rager that gets even thrashier. If that’s even possible. The real title track follows and allows for a brief respite for the gathered masses as it settles into a heavy, yet slightly subdued, groove. Just as “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” was the most fitting opener ever comes the most fitting closer ever as “O Father O Satan O Sun!” is over eight minutes of epic set-ending brutality with Nergal, Inferno, and Orion giving their absolute all to close out a live album truly fitting of Behemoth!
Messe Noire: Live Satanist is out through Metal Blade Records in a variety of formats (DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital) on April 13th. You can pre-order your copy by clicking here. To find out where you’ll be able to catch Behemoth live this summer head on over here for the latest and greatest information at your fingertips.