Behemoth – Conjuration

qb_120103_behemothThe thrill of a supplemental and lengthy MCD from a band that I respected seemed so much more magical way back when, in the years when such releases seemed like the perfect pacifier as I awaited the next full-length album. King Diamond did it. Forbidden did it. Metallica (gripe all you’d like, the Garage Days EP remains a classic), Kreator, Grave… the list truly is endless. Add Poland’s Behemoth to the pile and even though the alleged push of this release centers around a new song and 2 quirky covers, the 7 live tracks struck me as the true draw of “Conjuration”. The title track sounds like the one song that just wasn’t good enough to make it on the ever impressive “Zus Kia Cultus”, regardless if the drummer remains the most awe-inspiring weapon in Behemoth’s arsenal. Nergal’s vocals to me just don’t sound piercing or ravaged enough to match the intensity of the music. A dry shout dominates, when more of an aggressive gurgle at the back of his throat would add so much more character to the performance. He simply sounds fried. Next up is the bands take on NIN’s “Wish”. A decent song in it’s own right, but with the sped up delivery and more metallic touches spun into it ala Behemoth, the song takes on a completely week aura. Add Negal’s feeble attempt at pitch singing where his accent awkwardly butchers the English language, and we have a failed attempt at the band trying to demonstrate that they are open minded enough to appreciate other genres of heavy music. Behemoth’s take on “Welcome to Hell” by Venom is surprisingly very accurate. Even Nergal’s dryer shout seems to do this song justice, but still, this isn’t a track that could be used as a selling point for a person to pick this EP up. The ensuing live tracks possess the fire (both musically and vocally) that I desire to hear from this band and have a very clear, yet powerful/aggressive sound. But still… is a live album from a 4th level death metal band really that necessary? Even if I worshiped this band, I don’t know how moved I would be to rush out and snag a copy of “Conjuration” for my very own. Now a DVD with a good set-up/multiple camera angles and promo videos would be a different story. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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