This pandemic has been dismal and metal fans have been hit especially hard with the lack of any actual shows or events for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, Poland’s Behemoth has crafted a short four-song EP to help get us all through. As Nergal states:
“We hope this brings some respite for anyone struggling during these strange times on our planet! Stay safe, stay positive, Hail Satan!”
And my feelings about Behemoth’s A Forest EP are just that – very positive.
“A Forest” – the Cure cover featuring Niklas Kvarforth from Shining has already been released and you can watch the stunning video for it here:
There’s a second version of “A Forest” on the EP as well – this one is a live version from “Merry Christless” in Warsaw couple of years back.
While “A Forest” is nice, I really think the two winners are the two additional tracks.
“Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha” is great track that sounds just like it came off I Loved You at Your Darkest. It’s not overly dynamic, rather, it’s a straight ahead rocker, but that’s one of things I really enjoy about this particular song. Short riffs, direct soloing, no excess. My favorite section of the track is the end where there’s just some straight Nergal riffing over a really rich repetitive drum and bass rhythm. This type of outro is something Behemoth have mastered over the years and has been heard in a number of songs on both The Satanist and ILYAYD. The signature guitar tone is quite present as well in the mix so that the track is just unmistakably Behemoth.
“Evoe” is another track that easily could have been on either The Satanist or ILYAYD, which demonstrates just how much Behemoth is on top of their game right now as those two records are already firmly implanted in “metal classics” territory. Where the earlier track “Shadows” was a bit more reserved and restrained, “Evoe” unleashes the band’s full array of sonic weapons and therefore presents a more biting, sightly more chaotic composition. There are more layers here and greater range of vocals. The guitar solo at about two minutes in harkens back just a bit to The Apostasy days but it’s more disciplined than something you would have heard on those earlier records. Nergal’s rhythm guitar is also on point here and prominently comes up in the mix.
Note that Behemoth isn’t the first extreme metal to cover The Cure’s classic “A Forest,” check out Carpathian Forest’s version from a number of years back. Love the bleakness…
You can order Behemoth’s A Forest EP now right here. It releases May 29, 2020.