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Behemoth – And the Forests Dream Eternally Award winner

Behemoth
And the Forests Dream Eternally
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 September 2020, 11:39 AM

Poland’s BEHEMOTH are no strangers to blasphemy. Over the course of the last 27 years, they’ve pushed the boundaries of black metal and heresy alike. While anti-Christian sentiment might seem like stale bread where most metal bands are concerned, for BEHEMOTH such ideas represent a very real threat to their physical freedom. Time and again, the government of their native Poland has charged them with various “crimes” such as tearing up a bible onstage in 2007 and using the Polish coat of arms on a Behemoth t-shirt in 2017. “And the Forests Dreams Eternally” contains the five tracks from their 1995 Demo album, and then these same tracks re-mastered, and some played live. I am going to focus on the five re-mastered tracks to spare the reader repetitiveness.

“Transylvanian Forest” leads off the album. It opens with crows calling, and other sounds you might hear from inside a forest. The crows grow louder, and something builds in the background. You can tell this is an early incantation of the band. Nergal’s voice isn’t quite developed into the powerhouse it is today. The music is pretty tight, however, creating this thick wall of sound, with the production a bit muted, purposefully. “Moonspell Rights” opens with a more tense but carefully considered approach. Spoken word leads to an all-out assault. The vocals are vile and the music has a certain swing to it. As a fledgling band trying to find their identity in 1995, you can hear the exploration of sound.

“Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)” comes at you straight for the throat, with a full sound and vocal shrieks. A guitar solo rears its head, which is unusual in the genre of Black Metal, but BEHEMOTH have always been about breaking the rules. The intensity stays throughout the track. “Pure Evil and Hate” is a shorter song, with an almost MOTORHEAD sound to it. It uses a traditional, Classic NWOBHM riff, and the bass notes remind me of Lemmy thwacking away with a Punk twist to it. “Forgotten Empire of the Dark Witchcraft” closes the album, and might be one of the band’s most classic tracks. It oozes with the darkness that the band nearly singlehandedly created, and that guitar riff is classic BEHEMOTH.

Overall, it really took me on a ride back to 1995, when the genre was just coming alive. They were indeed a power house even early in their career, and have been copied by thousands of bands that came after them. These five tracks represent a snippet in time when they ruled the lands of Black Metal. Take a trip down memory lane, and rekindle your love for one of the true giants of Metal.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Transylvanian Forest
2. Moonspell Rites
3. Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)
4. Pure Evil and Hate
5. Forgotten Empire of the Dark Witchcraft
Lineup:
Nergal – Rhythm, Lead and Acoustic Guitars, Throat, New Aeon Propaganda and War Strategy
Inferno – Drums ov Annihilation and Artillery
Orion – Low End Frequencies and Fornication
Seth – Rhythm and Lead Guitars
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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