Behemoth Demonica

Behemoth Demonica
This is a timely release for Polish blackened death metal monsters Behemoth. With beloved frontman and primary songwriter Nergal still recovering from leukaemia after a successful bone marrow transplant, the band have expressed their intention to return to touring and release a new album in 2012. Demonica serves as an extremely satisfying interim offering. This limited edition, compilation box-set collects material from the early days of their career, most of it previously unreleased or unrecorded, as well as some early demos. The production value varies immensely, as one would expect. Some tracks have been re-recorded and remastered, sounding full and lush, the gelid guitar tone as precise as an intricate, crystalline pattern of frost. Other tracks are rawer, conveying an eerie, smothering atmosphere via the sonic interference. "Goat with a Thousand Young" is as inherently moody as mist curling around a gravestone and "Transylvanian Forest" blisters and blackens with ferocity. At that point in their career, Behemoth still played traditional black metal; it's fascinating to listen to this compilation and hear how closely they stick to the genre constraints, almost formalist in their scrupulous adherence to conventions. The tracks on Demonica are all dark, cold, passionate and filled with promise. This is a lovely collector's object, as it comes with a 40-page booklet containing lyrics and rare photographs. While definitely a curiosity, Demonica is nonetheless highly desirable for fans. (Metal Blade)