0016. Behemoth – Evangelion [2009]

Behemoth_-_Evangelion

This is probably one of very few black metal albums that will make it onto my personal list.  Why?  Because many of the black metal albums I’ve attempted to enjoy sound like each instrument was recorded simultaneously with one cheap Radioshack microphone in a bathroom with all the faders on the mixing board set to the same level (i.e. unity gain, or “0”).  These supposedly “mixed” albums sound so abysmal (and not in a good way, the way you’d imagine a black metal album should sound), that I really just can’t deal with them.

The most frustrating thing is… I REALLY WANT TO FUCKING LIKE THEM!  Black metal, in my opinion, is intriguing as a genre.  Some of the guys write some great lyrics.  Not that you’d be able to understand them, since not only are the vocals usually buried like a corpse in the mix (hehe, so “black” of me to put it that way, eh?), but if they manage to rise a little bit above the rest of the instruments, the vocalist sounds something like “ghhhhhhh ughhhhh dhhh fhhh uhhhhh.”

There you are, in the middle of the pentagram you made with pig’s blood in a cemetery, ready to stab a severed goat’s head on the altar your mom bought you for Xmas.  Your buddy turns up the volume on the portable radio you brought, and you can’t even understand the fucking words!  And you can’t go back home and steal your mom’s Carpenters tapes.  Satan doesn’t like The Carpenters… well, maybe he does, actually.

Anyway, yeah, frustrating.  This album, however, is not.  The vocals still aren’t particularly understandable, but at least you can distinguish between them and the distorted guitars (which are both around the same frequencies in the spectrum of human hearing, by the way).  One thing I especially love are the drums.  The engineer(s) really did well on the drums.  Aside from the album, I love how the singer, Nergal, came out and said he can’t understand how a metal musician or fan can be a Christian.  I like some metal bands who’ve identified themselves as Christian, but it’s because their lyrics aren’t dripping with the usual nonsense you’d hear at a Sunday church service.  When Dave Mustaine became a born again Christian, I was done with Megadeth.  Still am.  I can barely listen to their older stuff without being disappointed by remembering what they’re like now.

Anyway, fuck Megadeth, or at least, fuck Dave Mustaine.  If you have some time, check out some of Behemoth’s music videos on YouTube.  Oh, and especially check out the uncensored video for the single, “Ov Fire And The Void,” where the band tears off the wings of an angel and eats them:

Beautiful.  🙂

Here’s what Wiki has to say about this album:

Wikipedia Says:

Evangelion is the ninth full-length album by Polish extreme metal band Behemoth. The album was released on August 7, 2009 through Nuclear Blast Records and on August 11, 2009, through Metal Blade Records in the USA.

Background

The album title refers to the Good News in Christianity; the message of Jesus Christ.

Evangelion comes from a Greek word ‘Spreading the word of God’ or ‘spreading the good news’…oh well, you already know that we love to play with the meanings and symbolism. We’re here to show you our interpretation of what Evangelion really is.
Nergal[13]

The album’s cover artwork is a depiction of The Great Harlot of Babylon, the figuress of evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

The picture is of The Great Harlot of Babylon riding the seven-headed beast. Saints bow before her in worship whilst the tablets of the Ten Commandments lie broken at her feet. It represents our vision and the interpretation of the New Testament parable where the “Whore of Babylon” is a symbol of rebellion and resistance against God.
Nergal[14]

Recording and production

In January 2009, the band was in the final stages of the songwriting and rehearsal process for the album. Behemoth entered Radio Gdańsk studio in Poland to begin work on the album on February 16, 2009. The band managed to tap Daniel Bergstrand (MeshuggahIn FlamesDark Funeral) to produce drums on the record. Bergstrand used some unconventional techniques—a big room for the drums to create ambience and 22-channel recording for a more “organic and natural” sound.[15][16]

In March they were close to finish recording the guitars, with help from Wojciech and Sławomir Wiesławski from Studio Hertz. Within five days they completed three songs and laid down three rhythm guitars on each side, after which they worked on the bass, solos and vocals simultaneously.[17][18]

The band also managed to tap Colin Richardson to mix the album. The band had tried to book him before for their previous album, The Apostasy, but he wasn’t available then.[19]

In early May, tracking was completed and on May 12 Nergal flew to the United Kingdom to join Colin Richardson to mix the record at Miloco StudiosLondon.[20] Also in May, Metal Hammer was given the opportunity to listen to three fully completed songs in Miloco Studios.[21] Nergal stated that this was the most relaxing and at the same time the most creative studio session he had ever been a part of.[17]

Track listing

All music composed by Nergal.

No. Title Lyrics Length
1. “Daimonos” Nergal 5:15
2. “Shemhamforash” Nergal 3:56
3. Ov Fire and the Void Nergal 4:27
4. “Transmigrating Beyond Realms ov Amenti” Krzysztof Azarewicz 3:27
5. “He Who Breeds Pestilence” Nergal 5:41
6. “The Seed ov I” Nergal, Krzysztof Azarewicz 4:58
7. “Alas, Lord Is Upon Me” Nergal 3:15
8. “Defiling Morality ov Black God” Nergal, Krzysztof Azarewicz 2:49
9. “Lucifer” Tadeusz Miciński 8:06
Total length:
41:54
Japanese bonus track
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
10. “Total Invasion” (Killing Joke cover) Jaz Coleman Geordie WalkerMartin GloverAndy Gill 7:22

Personnel

Behemoth
Additional musicians
  • Patryk Dominik “Seth” Sztyber – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Krzysztof “Siegmar” Oloś (Vesania) – keyboards, arrangements
  • Maciej Maleńczuk – spoken word (9)
  • Tomasz “Ragaboy” Osiecki – sitar
  • Pawel Hulisz (Hevelius Brass quintet) – trumpet
  • Piotr Kowalkowski (Hevelius Brass quintet) – trumpet
  • Michal Szczerba (Hevelius Brass quintet) – horn
  • Bogdan Kwiatek (Hevelius Brass quintet) – trombone
  • Lukasz Gruba (Hevelius Brass quintet) – tuba
  • Boris “Hatefrost” Kalyuzhnyy – backing vocals (1)
  • Maciej “Manticore” Gruszka – backing vocals (1)
Production
  • Daniel Bergstrand – drums producing
  • Colin Richardson – audio mixing
  • Arkadiusz “Malta” Malczewski – sound engineering, backing vocals (1)
  • Kuba Mańkowski – sound engineering
  • Wojciech Wiesławski – guitars co-producing
  • Sławomir Wiesławski – guitars co-producing
  • Jan Bryt – solos and vocals tracking
  • Tomasz “Graal” Daniłowicz – cover design and artwork
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
Note
  • Recorded at RG Studios, January 2009 E.V. – May 2009
  • Mixed at Musikbox, Miloco Studios, London, May 2009
  • Mastered in Sterling Studio, New York, May 2009

Charts

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Austrian Albums Chart[22] 45
Canadian Albums Chart[23] 61
Canadian Independent Chart[23] 6
Canadian Hard Music Chart[23] 10
Dutch Indie Chart[23] 5
Finnish Albums Chart[24] 17
German Albums Chart 59
Polish Album Chart[23] 1
Swiss Albums Chart[25] 88
US Billboard 200[23] 55
US Hard Rock Albums[23] 5
US Rock Albums[23] 17
US Independent Albums[23] 5
US Hard Music Albums[23] 6

Release history

Region Date Label
Europe, Poland, Australia August 7, 2009 Nuclear Blast/Mystic Production/Riot Entertainment
United States August 11, 2009 Metal Blade
Japan August 19, 2009 Victor Entertainment
South Korea September 24, 2009 Dope Entertainment
India September 25, 2009 Demonstealer Records
Russia January 10, 2010 Mazzar Records
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