Unlike everyone else, we waited until 2014 was actually over to recount our favorite albums. It’s been a great year for extreme music with a healthy amount of excellent releases. We saw the return of legends in GODFLESH and AT THE GATES as well as welcome returns from long recording breaks in BEHEMOTH and MAYHEM. And who can deny the GHOST B.C.-like popularity explosion of Japan’s BABYMETAL? Crazy shit. Metal is certainly a diverse genre.
For 2014, the APESHIT goons did not have any unanimous or semi-unanimous album of the year (i.e. 2013′s CARCASS‘ Surgical Steel). But MAYHEM, BLOODBATH, GODFLESH, and TRYPTIKON were near consensus picks. Sorry, ENTOMBED A.D. didn’t make it here.
VESANIA, the Polish symphonic black metal act that features current and former members of BEHEMOTH, DIMMU BORGIR, VADER, and DECAPITATED, have been toiling for over a decade. The band’s fourth full-length album, and first since 2007, Deus Ex Machina, is finally scheduled for release on October 28, 2014 via Metal Blade Records. The brand new track, “Innocence,” can be heard below.
VESANIA is: Orion – guitars and voices Daray – drums Siegmar – synths and samples Heinrich – bass Valeo – guitars
There’s no singular unifying lyrical concept on Deus Ex Machina, but there’s a main theme, a coherent and deliberate thread running from the title through the music. The title of the album is a term from ancient Greek tragedy and translates to “god from the machine”. The idea for the concept was that a machine, typically a rudimentary crane, would lower a thespian playing god onto the stage to solve the seemingly unsolvable conflict in the plot. In modern entertainment, the term has evolved to primarily refer to a cheap solution in a poorly written script or novel. Alternatively, VESANIA‘s Deus Ex Machina is a call for any kind of help or intervention because all of the lyrics on the album are hopeless and show characters in situations that leaves them powerless.
As demonstrated by TESTAMENT‘s Chuck Billy, it is possible to make a strong comeback from cancer and resume a successful career. Thankfully, BEHEMOTH‘s Nergal has followed suit and returned to form. The Satanist is the sound of a band ready to resume their upward trajectory in the metal world.
The album takes a new approach to that of the fist-in-the-face attack of albums past. This one is about “feel” and atmosphere rather than simply pummeling the listener. But it still sounds 100% like BEHEMOTH. They call more upon their black metal beginnings than ever in sound and style. The Satanist is perhaps the band’s most dynamically rich work to date because of all the various song parts. Horns, synthesizers, and choirs help to add flavor. Most of the songs have a mid-tempo foundation with plenty of clean electric guitars, and fast parts here and there. However, the action never feels slow per se. Thematically, there are tons of references to the bible as well as, you guessed it, Satan.
Opener, “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel,” sets the tone with its blackened ritualistic atmospheres and predominantly mid-tempo pace. Second track, “Furor Divinus,” starts out like the MAYHEM classic, “Funeral Fog.” “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” is The Satanist‘s catchiest track with its simple, straight forward structure that just glides forward. A song like “Amen” demonstrates their growth as there is a quiet, dark interlude in the middle of the blasting fury. The same could be said of “In the Absence ov Light.” “O Father O Satan O Sun!” is one hell of a closer and is the album’s most powerful track.
All in all, The Satanist is a good album. Does it break barriers or is a game changer? No, but it is a step forward in growth for BEHEMOTH. And moving forward is paramount. (Metal Blade Records/Nuclear Blast Records)
Poland’s BEHEMOTH have a great new video for the song, “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel,” from their anticipated album, The Satanist. Great visuals and atmosphere.
BEHEMOTH frontman Nergal described the video: “Yes, we took all the time in the world to complete this project. And we did everything that was humanely possible to accurately express our vision. We crossed the Rubicon. ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’ is an ecstatic manifest of our unrestrained artistic will, where we dare to reach out beyond the limitations of the heavy metal genre. And it’s only the beginning…Enjoy!”
The Satanist will be unleashed on February 3rd in the UK, February 4th in North America and Poland, February 5th in Japan, and February 7th in Europe and the rest of the world.
One of the coolest death metal debut albums in recent years, gets the live treatment with Living Flesh. Band mastermind Nader Sadek gathered together his core recording line up of Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL), Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM), and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) along with Novy (ex-VADER, BEHEMOTH, DIES IRAE), Sean Frey, and Carmen Simoes. Do not mistake this for being just another live recording. Living Flesh is a special CD & DVD/Blu-ray live recording with a presentation and execution unlike any other live metal album.
Visually, Nader Sadek did a great job in creating a unique, artistic stage set up, complete with a throne, emaciated branches over the monitors, and Flo Mounier‘s drumkit in the audience facing the stage.
Soundwise, the production is immaculate. Warm tones, crystal clear drums, and great balance bring the performance to life. The whole band is on top of the game and one just help but wonder what this line-up could do on another NADER SADEK studio album. Lead guitarist Sean Frey does a great job in shredding every which way throughout the set.
Taken all the together, the eerie, melancholic, and slithering death metal of NADER SADEK comes to life and sounds infinitely better than In the Flesh. In many ways, Living Flesh demonstrates that NADER SADEK embodies what makes death metal so unique and special. Don’t miss out on one of the best new bands to emerge in years. Highly recommended. (self-released)
Living Flesh, the first ever live performance from NADER SADEK‘s critically acclaimed In the Flesh project will be self-released on February 27th. The November 20, 2011 show featured the original line-up of musicians from the In the Flesh record, as well as two new performers. The original line-up consisted of Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY); Rune Eriksen (AURA NOIR, AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM); Novy (ex-BEHEMOTH and ex-VADER); and Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL in his first and last live appearance for this project. Those greats are joined by Sean Frey as guest live guitarist and Carmen Simoes on backing vocals.
Living Flesh also brings you photos of that evening, demonstrating why NADER SADEK has been a favorite set-designer for the likes of SUNN O))) and MAYHEM.
The songs themselves differ from the original studio album arrangements. Not only are they played at a much higher speed, but have been extended to allow the audience to sink into and absorb the relentless riffs. The live show also features one track that does not appear on the studio album: Flo Mounier‘s extraordinary drum solo that shifts from brutal mechanical noise to rhythmic musical patterns, paralleling the overlap of man and machine charted by Sadek‘s petroleum-based project. Living Flesh will also be released in a single, unique vinyl edition. Consisting of a very special packaging and extra content, this piece is limited to one exclusive copy worldwide. Details to be announced.
BEHEMOTH frontman Nergal has announced that he will be endorsing Demon Energy Drink. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the DKMS foundation. The DKMS foundation raises awareness and funds to benefit those diagnoses with various forms of blood cancer. For more information, and to find out how to get involved, please visit dkmsamericas.org.
Nergal comments on his endorsement: “Well, I decided to accept the offer to be a face of this energy drink called Demon. I’ve never been much of a fan of such drinks but I loved the idea behind it… the whole campaign is strongly connected with DKMS foundation (the one that found a bone marrow donor for myself). The percentage of sales will be donated to the foundation and will make this whole business worthwhile for me. Besides, I loved the name and a logo…so why the fuck not?”
There continues to be more great news from the Behemoth camp. The band has announced that they will begin rehearsals for their next album in September, following their performances at several European festivals over the next two weeks. Additionally, the band will embark on a tour of Eastern Europe in the fall. More tour dates and news regarding brand new music from Behemoth will be released as it becomes available.
Nergal elaborates on the upcoming tour dates: “This is what I call the perfect ending of a touring cycle. Finally, we are arriving in Eastern European and South American shores this fall. I know it’s been ages…and I know there’ve been legions waiting for us…on behalf of the band I must say though: the wait is over; we are coming back rejuvenated and hungry! See you all very soon!”
NADER SADEK, the supergroup featuring Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL), Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, AURA NOIR, ex-MAYHEM), and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) have announced their first live appearance. The band will be performing their debut, In the Living Flesh, on November 20th, 2011 (8:30pm – 10:00pm) at Santos Party House (96 Lafayette St. New York, NY). Admission is free.
Novy (ex-VADER/ex-BEHEMOTH) will be playing bass as well as newcomer Sean Frey on lead guitar and a surprise female vocalist.
With stage design that resembles a Wagnerian Opera, band mastermind Nader Sadek seeks to take the death metal experience to new heights, as he is set to perform the new album In the Living Flesh live in its entirety alongside the production team behind the album. Upon entering the space, the audience is invited to view all of Sadek’s works on and off the stage, each attendee will be given “pamphlet” describing the evenings 3 acts. People can expect more than several props which are recognizable from Sadek‘s recent videos, such as glowing sulfuric crystals, caves, thrones, and a “elaborate setup for the drums.” The show will feature a lengthy overture by a masked surprise female vocalist performing inside a mirrored cube, guitarists enveloped by a web of vines and more. Conceptually, the theme behind the album, will manifest itself in the live setting, petroleum, man’s greatest discovery and tragedy will embrace the composition of the visual and aural assault. The performance will also be filmed live.
On Novy‘s involvement, Sadek says:
“What can i say? Of all the bands Novy has played in, the albums he is on are undisputedly my favorite. Coincidence? I think not. Bass is a very underrated, yet very important instrument, it can change the feel of a song entirely. It is definitely an important factor that Novy is also a songwriter, and understand the importance of composition within the structure of a song. His compositions within DIES IRAE are very impressive. I’m excitedly to welcome Novy to the flesh!”
“Ladies And Gentleman.
“My name is Novy ,and I’m proud announce for you – I play with Nader Sadek. It’s a pleasure to play with great musicians in an amazing project like ‘In the Living Flesh.’ Listen to the new album and this project , feel this energy and emotion and…Move your black hearts to Nader Sadek‘s show on the 20th of November at Santo’s in New York City
BEHEMOTH and production company Grupa 13 recently collaborated for the video for the song, “Lucifer,” off of the band’s latest, Evangelion. The video was shot in Wroclaw, Poland and stars the song’s guest vocalist, Maciej Malenczuk. The video is currently being edited and will see a worldwide premiere in September.
BEHEMOTH frontman, Nergal, comments: “It’s crazy. The making of video is 10 minutes long and you watch it like it was 3 minutes… it’s so intense and still, doesn’t look like anything we’ve done before! ‘Lucifer‘ was a huge artistic challenge and I managed to create a VERY unique atmosphere. Watch and enjoy while waiting for the final result. The video’s gonna fuckin’ slay!”