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Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram

Opvs Contra Natvram
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 October 2022, 11:26 AM

BEHEMOTH really need no introduction to the Metal community, but in case you don’t know who they are, allow me a brief one. They formed in Poland about the same time Grunge came to the pacific northwest in America, but it wasn’t until 1995 that they released their debut full-length. 12 albums and nearly 35 years later, they are still going strong. “Opvs Contra Natvram” is their latest offering, and contains ten songs.

“Post-God Nirvana” is the first. Hate swirls in the background, followed by the steady pulse of drum beats. The armies of Hell are gathering for celebration. Nergal’s vocals sound like the voice of Lucifer himself, declaring HE the new God. “Malaria Vvlgata” is a short blast of anger and rage, with thick guitars and pounding drums. “The Deathless Sun” features a slower groove with layered vocals that seem to come from all sound you. Lead guitar notes reign down on you like thunder claps. The layered vocals sound like chants from an army of the Undead. “Ov My Herculean Exile” opens with a slow grind and heavy accents that sound like meteors striking the earth and leaving massive craters behind. The sound drops and swells again towards the end.

“Neo-Spartacvs” is four minutes of pure abhorrence. Thick bass notes roll under a bed of angered vocals and a hasty sound in the guitars. Drums gallop like the thundering hooves of an ancient army on horseback. “Off to War!” begins with bells that tell the soldiers to mobilize immediately. They gather their swords and shields and are ready for plunder. “Once upon a Pale Horse” features a darker and more calculated sound, with a quintessential BEHMOTH riff where the bass guitar provides a lot of the movement. “Thy Becoming Eternal” has some really eerie and harrowing backing track vocals amidst the filthy and evil sound. “Versvs Christvs” closes the album. There is a slow build up to the harrowing and depressive sound, almost like a church hymn gone bad.

Of all the things you can like about a band like BEHEMOTH, it’s the vocals of Nergal that I associate the band with most. Because they have been around for a long time, they aren’t reinventing the wheel here with this new album. Indeed, they have their own sound, and they are making sure they stay true to their fans. It’s an excellent album.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Post-God Nirvana
2. Malaria Vvlgata
3. The Deathless Sun
4. Ov My Herculean Exile
5. Neo-Spartacvs
6. Disinheritance
7. Off to War!
8. Once upon a Pale Horse
9. Thy Becoming Eternal
10. Versvs Christvs
Nergal – Guitars, Vocals, Songwriting, Lyrics
Inferno – Drums, Percussion
Orion – Bass, Vocals, Songwriting, Keyboards, Samples
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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