Review: Behemoth “Opvs Contra Natvram” [Nuclear Blast]

Review: Behemoth “Opvs Contra Natvram” [Nuclear Blast]

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It has been four years since Behemoths I Loved You at Your Darkest album, bands somewhat flawed but interesting follow-up to in all leagues stellar The Satanist. In a way, it foreshadowed a new aeon for the band; after Nergal’s triumphant recovery from leukemia and the very publicity court case the bands popularity pretty much exploded, and that happened during their arguably their best album.

The timing was more than perfect. Speaking of perfection, Behemoth was so satisfied with The Satanist they were not sure if they want to do a follow up.

After listening to Opvs Contra Natvram, a huge part of me wished they did not.

If you thought that the last album was a mixed bag you are into a doozy of frustration. Emphasis on frustration, because there are still fantastic material in there but you really need grab a shovel and dig in to find it between the good, the bad and forgettable songs.

This comes from a guy who saw Behemoth perform the entire The Satanist set back in the day, and loved every bit of it.

More than half of the record is basically Nergal & co. milking the satanic cow dry with any void of ideas that were done infinitely better almost decade ago. Album sounds like throwaway ideas that did not make to the previous two album. Tracks like “Ov My Herculean Exile”, “Neo-Spartacvs”, “Disinheritance” and “Off to War!” is Behemoth on autopilot.

So are the lyrics, the same issue with the song writing. Does not offer anything new that was not better done in the last two albums, being borderline self-indulgent and whatever scraps of Aleister Crowley’s writing that Nergal did not used so far.

On other tracks that differ or I would call them somewhat better, like “Malaria Vvlgata” or “The Deathless Sun” showed some promise despite the usual trappings of predictability that plagues this album.

And there is “Versvs Christvs”, the last track of the album. The only song truly worth attention. It has all the ingredients that makes you put the track on repeat till its engraved in your skull and you still hum the chorus time after. Similar to “Thy Becoming Eternal” it shows of what really this band is capable of and it can stand in line with any of the past records. Shame that you had swim the sea of mediocre and ideas devoid of revision to get to these gems.

In short, The Satanist formula had gone stale.

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