When this promo dropped in our inbox, I jumped all over it! Behemoth’s 2014 release, The Satanist, was by miles my album of 2014. I will not go into why it is so special, as there is a whole plethora of well-written essays on it also, and we would be here for a long time.

Behemoth were a reasonably successful band before, but The Satanist took their reach and ramped it up several rungs to the point where they were being covered by broadsheet news papers and the non-extreme metal press. After they had already covered most of the globe once round, playing a set of half of the record as well as cuts from previous albums, they decided that to go around again and play the album in its entirety, top to bottom. A brilliant move seeing as most bands could not and would not dare to do this for their latest release, but only do one of their “classics.” This already has become Behemoth’s classic record and everyone, band included, knows it. Messe Noire: Live Satanist is the capturing in their homeland of this set of the records nine slabs of genius, yes, I really do mean that. Pure-fucking-genius.

I would suggest that you watch the visual version of this show that is included when you buy a certain version. Doing it this way just means that you get all the production and see how visceral this band are live. The original album is the best way to take in the journey that this record takes you on. One thing I will say though that is improved upon from the studio album is that between all the songs are little segues and samples that keep from being any gaps in sound and if they had done that on The Satanist then it would have taken it from perfect to…I don’t know, double perfect?

Nergal’s vocals are aggressive but very human and filled with emotion and resilience. His conviction cannot be questioned and the same can be said of the whole band’s performance. It sounds like they are playing an end of the world party and they have a message to aurally assault you with. These tracks feature more dynamics than the band ever employed before and the spaces between the chaos make for an even darker atmosphere than you can imagine.

There are some moments throughout the record where you get goosebumps and some where you want to go and burn a church but all of it does what great music should do and moves you. Safe to say the audio is captured brilliantly with not too much crowd noise but enough to know it is a live record. If you didn’t manage to see them perform this masterpiece in full then get this and immerse yourself. Thank old Nick that Poland makes better metal music than it does a football team. Buy it!

 

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