Behemoth, from Poland, was formed in 1991, and the sound of the band was then deeply rooted in primitive old school black metal. With the release of Satanica in 1999, the band made a very marked change in sound and became more of a technical death metal band.
Only one year after the release of Satanica, in year 2000, Behemoth released the follow up album, Thelema.6, which features everything you heard on the Satanica album, only twice as good! The production is superb, the songs are more varied and have more tempo variations. Behemoth has become a monster, unpredictable, yet catchy, incredibly heavy, fast, yet with groove! The guitar style is based on heavy riffs, some more technical than others.
The album was recorded in Hendrix Studio in Poland, supposedly a studio well known for bigger and more commercial productions. It sounds crystal clear, digital, perfect and cold, with none of that analogue warmth which is often common in Metal. This could sound like criticism, but it's not. The production is perfect for this album! Behemoth has up until this point in their career never had this sort of clarity and punch in their productions, and if anything it only emphasizes that Behemoth has become an incredibly tight band with awe inspiring technical abilities.
If you ask me, this is The Death Metal abum of year 2000! It's original, as Behemoth have developed their own sound within the Death Metal genre. It's unpredictable, varied and technical, yet at the same time crushingly brutal and catchy, and all this with a crystal clear production!
If you liked 'Satanica', you should like this even better! If you haven't heard 'Satanica', listen to this instead (or first)!
The track list of the album is as follows:
1. "Decade of Therion" - (3:19)
2. "LAM" - (4:13)
3. "Ceremony of Shiva" - (3:32)
4. "Of Sephirotic Transformation and Carnality" - (4:30)
5. "The Sermon to the Hypocrites" - (5:03)
6. "Starspawn" - (3:31)
7. "The Alchemist's Dream" - (5:40)
8. "Chant for Eschaton 2000" - (5:21)
In addition to a standard jewelcase version, a digipack limited to 1000 copies was made. The digipack version features 4 bonus tracks:
Hello Spaceboy (03:27)
From The Pagan Vastlands (03:08)
For those who are into modern day Behemoth, this is the album where they perfected this sound, which was first introduced on the 'Satanica' album. Every album after this has followed in similar foot steps.
Although I wasn't too fond of the direction change on 'Satanica,' Behemoth really surprised me with its furtherance in 'Thelema.6,' their first album of the new millennium and one of the most devastating death metal albums it's ever been my misfortune to enjoy. This is an improvement over 'Satanica' due to the greater technicality of Nergal's guitars, which run through varied riffs and leads in songs like 'The Act of Rebellion' while making plenty of time for the headbanging crowd brave enough to attend their live shows. With only minimal pauses between tracks offering respite from the skull-splintering torment, this isn't for the faint hearted unless you really want to go out with a bang.
Although this is more or less pure death metal now, Behemoth retains a black metal mentality, both in inferno's incredible drum work and most explicitly in the anti-Christian lyrics and statements, which go so far as to be laughable at times ('Christians to the Lions' for example). While this will put off as many listeners as it attracts, this is some of the most divisive music in existence, with almost everyone on the planet likely to consider it unbearable noise, and the small minority of fans embracing its unbearability.
Nergal's scream meets somewhere in the middle of a black metal screech and a death metal growl and suits the music perfectly, and there are even minimal clean vocals in tracks four and five to add a little diversity to an album that's already unpredictable and far from repetitive, even provided the listener is able to endure right to the end. If I was as passionate about death metal as I am about other stupid genres, this would probably be one of my favourite albums of all time. Unfortunately, I guess I'm a bit of a wuss after all, but this is Behemoth's strongest and most creative release up to this point.
1. Antichristian Phenomenon
2. The Act of Rebellion
3. Inflamed With Rage
4. Pan Satyros
5. Natural Born Philosopher
6. Christians to the Lions
7. Inauguration of Scorpio Dome
8. In the Garden of Dispersion
9. The Universe Illumination (Say "Hello" to My Demons)
10. Vinvm Sabbati
11. 23 (The Youth Manifesto)
12. The End
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Antichristian Phenomenon
2 Act Of Rebellion
3 Inflamed With Rage
4 Pan Satyros
5 Natural Born Philosopher
6 Christians To The Lions
7 Inaugration Of Scorpio Dome
8 In The Garden Of Dispersion
9 Universe Illumination
10 Vinvm Sabbati
11 23 (The Youth Manifesto)
14 Hello Space Boy
15 From The Pagan Vastlands
16 Christians To The Lions