I’m not sure if God exists, but I know Behemoth would kill Him if Nietzsche didn’t finish the job. Proven by 2004’s Demigod as far and away the most brutal of the new crop of black/death metal, Poland’s Behemoth have released their logical continuation with The Apostasy. Short on consonance and patience, heavy on drums and growls, the sound is as subtle as ever.
Which is to say, not so much. After a short introduction, “Slaying The Prophets Ov Isa” (Isa being Arabic for Jesus, for those of us who weren’t paying attention during The Passion) bursts forth without warning. And through frontman/composer Nergal’s innate cleverness, an otherwise completely ferocious song is adorned with just a touch of a vocal choir on the last chorus.
So it is a little subtle. Just a bit.
But in all seriousness, there are intensely arranged pieces here: “Kriegsphilosophie,” (“War Philosophy”) has cleverly arranged dual guitar leads—one just slightly clean and midrange, just enough to alter the character of the blistering main melody. “Pazuzu” brings in that choir again for a short burst in the very beginning, creating a haunt across the remainder of the piece. Even the otherwise unadorned “Christgrinding Avenue,” which judged by its title is still totally awesome, has a subdued horn section and the previously mentioned choir under its war drum- inspired march.
With only one song (“Inner Sanctum”) breaking the five-minute mark (at 5:01), The Apostasy doesn’t appear epic at first glance, but after a solid listen, it’ll be the first thing you go for when we’re called to arms against the Church. Or anyone else, for that matter.