Music » Critics' Picks

Behemoth

2 p.m. Wednesday, August 2. Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois).

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In the annals of evil, has a band ever progressed farther faster than Behemoth? Early albums Sventevith and Grom marked them as proud Pomeranian pagans with a penchant for corpse paint, singing in their native Polish and the first two Burzum albums. It was all very grim and satisfyingly black metal, and nothing new under the sun. But then frontman and main songwriter Nergal experienced some sort of unholy revelation (perhaps spurred by the discovery of Aleister Crowley, judging from albums such as Thelema.6 and Zos Kia Cultus) — and Behemoth became much more interesting. Now Nergal is a star-devouring monster summoning the Great Old Ones with scabrous hymns to cosmic evil, extolling his own status as a god among mortals and generally threatening sanity with his inhuman guitar prowess, while still retaining the brutality of his younger self. Finally, metal for the thinking villain.

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