Behemoth - _Bewitching the Pomerania_
(Solstitium Records, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (9 out of 10)
This terrific gust of raging, engaging heathen song demonstrates yet again Behemoth's mastery of furious black metal in the swollen-hearted Polish style. There are three tracks, two of which are re-recordings of old songs - but this repetition prompts no complaints, since both old songs are great efforts which benefit from being revisited. Rescued from the horrid sound of _Sventevith_, the agonized, anthemic majesty of "Hidden in the Fog" now rings out loud and clear. (I generally don't mind "bad" production, but the sound of the original is just too lousy for material this strong.) Also included here is "Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)", originally from the mini-CD _And the Forests Dream Eternally_ - which, by the way, is a masterpiece of ass-kicking backwoods rage. (The mini-CD, I mean.) This time around, the song benefits from improved instrumental technique (plus clearer sound), which adds some fluidity to the momentum of its sustained sonic charge. Well-played melodic lead guitar lines figure prominently, but they are not squeaky, obtrusive, or annoying in the least. The new song, "With Spell of Inferno (Mefisto)", is pure Behemoth: a molten fusion of impassioned riffs, articulate vocals, and awesome percussion which alternates between ripping speed and more rocking mid-paced sections. Great stuff - once again.

(article published 16/10/1997)

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