Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Review: Behemoth – In Absentia Dei

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Date: December 17th, 2021

Since Behemoth’s musicians and my country of origin are the same, we thought here in Abaddon it’ll be cool if it’s just me who writes this review. The other reason is I can be creative with this band well – just like most Polish metalheads from my generation. It also means that I have a little different approach to Behemoth than people from outside of Poland, even if for more than a decade I live in Sweden. To be honest I somehow don’t understand phenomena of this band. And before some of readers will call me a poser (especially that they have no idea when I was falling in love with metal music and how many years this love takes) and so on I’ll explain what I mean I never said, and will never do it, that Behemoth is a bad ensemble and don’t deserve on being well-known one. But at the same time I think there are bands in Poland who deserve it even more, but actually almost no one knows they even exist. And it unfortunately also takes Polish younger than me fans of extreme music. It’s possible my opinion is a little bit “infected” by the fact I know some facts about Nergal which would be at least the strange ones for most of you. And I just can’t stand them or even understand this type of behavior and so on. But this is a personal thing and has nothing to do with the what he and his band’s creativity! So you can be sure I’m objective in what I write.

Ok, so let’s finally start to talk about the most and actually the only important thing here – music! Personally I like very much and appreciate demos and first two, maybe three albums of Behemoth when they played black metal. This black/death era in their history isn’t what I think is something special. And “In Absentia Dei” confirms my belief as well. It’s a good album and you can find here everything that you expect from this band, but I feel like it was, in my opinion once again, created a little by force. You know, “oh guys, labels and probably fans wanna have our next album, so we have to do it and this time it’ll be something alive, so we don’t have to do a lot”. All musicians are very experienced, so you can be sure this is on a high technical level. It happens a lot in every track. Sometimes there’s even too much mushrooms in the shell, as we used to say in Poland. All in all, the effect is you can hear their big abilities (it also takes vocals), but at the same time the soul of the music is somehow lost or at least blunting.

However, as I mentioned above “Absentia…” is a live album, but during the listening of it I absolutely didn’t feel it. So I guess all the songs were mixing and so on in the studio. So I had to take a look at some portals to get to know this fact.. I know this is a very subjective thing, but for me that’s not the way live albums should sound. I mean, on such recordings I want to feel the gig’s atmosphere. But this is only my opinion and yours can, and in many surely cases is, totally different and that’s very good! Anyhow, there’s nineteen songs you can listen to. As I remember there was once during this corona-time their concert in some church. But I actually have no idea if all nineteen tracks were played over there or this digibook is some kind of compilation of two gigs. By the way, the Blu-ray contains all songs which are on both CDs as I noticed. All of them are of course taken from several full-lengths.

That’s why I guess this is a prime catch for all who love this black/death incarnation of Behemoth and as I know there’s many of them around all the world. They’ll surely order it immediately after hearing a word about it. Well, there’s a quite huge chance not all of them did it because this is a fresh release and saw the light of the day, or darkness of the night, only a month ago. So, ladies and gentlemen just do it. I won’t do it and will not too often come back to this album. But as I wrote before I’m not a fan of their newer, even if this isn’t an extremely accurate word here because this black/death era has taken place for something like two decades,at all, so this is a rather normal situation, isn’t it?