|Review: Behemoth - Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)|
|Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)|
Label: Olympic Recordings
Year released: 2002
Review online: April 9, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
for:Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)
The hellhounds in Behemoth prove that you can most certainly teach an old dog new tricks. Zos Kia Cultus is the product of a good decade of experience at the disposal of one Nergal, who takes on vocals, guitars and is at the helm of the album’s production. The guy has been a playing since he was 15 and it really shows in this, Behemoth’s most mature effort to date. It is still brutal, but there is a certain sophistication to this album that as a death metal fan I really admire. Everything about the arrangements of the songs is brilliantly orchestrated. Be it straightforward and heavy or crunched down to a grinding halt, Nergal seeks to now conquer the Polish death metal scene after basically pioneering and owning the black metal underground there.
Fans who were put off by the souless Satanica clone that was Thelema.6 will be pleased that the detour has been passed and the boys are back on track with a super technical album that covers the entire spectrum of quality death metal elements in one package.
Always pleasant on the ears is the animal-like viciousness of Nergal’s mic work. He proves time and time again to me why exactly I enjoy his work so much. Whether he is leading the charge with a commanding snarl or screaming in misanthropic agony, Nergal always takes full advantage of his intimidating range.
It seems that lately people have seen it fit to go around saying Behemoth makes a nice Morbid Angel clone. But honestly, aside from hearing guitar pitches similar to Trey Azagthoth’s super sonic ear bleeder trademark on the two title tracks Zos Kia Cultus and Here and Beyond, I hear only vague similarities. Both are fantastic technical death bands, but Behemoth has come into their own since severing themselves from pure black metal since their transitional effort Pandemonic Incantations.
Similar to The Code from Vader’s most recent release, No Sympathy For Fools stands out in its reliance on riffs to carry it rather than drum beats. This kind of unpredictable personality can be found all over the album. Exotic guitar lines a la Nile providing the outro to Horns ov Baphomet or the accoustic plucks with a Spanish flair surrounded by relentless chaos in the jerky riffs and blasts of Typhonian Soul Zodiack are just some of the countless stand out moments raging from Zos Kia Cultus.
Behemoth’s evolution has spawned a sound that lives up to their namesake. Grandiose in scale with the beef to back it up.
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