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Review: Behemoth - Thelema.6

Label: Avantgarde Music
Year released: 2001
Duration: 54:21
Tracks: 27
Genre: Black/Death


Review online: August 31, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (35 Votes)

First in the most recent 'trio' by a band that has become very popular of late. Behemoth used to be a 'woodsy' Pagan BM band, but with "Satanica" they started in a different direction entirely, and of course now they have become a straight Death Metal band. "Thelema 6" is often invoked as better than the two albums that preceded it, but I see now that is just fanboying, as this is a bit of a letdown from the awesome "Zos Kia Kultus" and the solid "Demigod".

Now stylistically there is no surprise here, as this is the same sort of blasting 'Death-Metal-with-a-Black-Metal-attitude' that this band seems to be aiming for. The production is just as good as I would expect from this band, and I have to say I like Nergal's vocals much better here, as unlike on "Demigod" he has not buried his voice under a triple-tracked Hell of effects. But the songwriting on this disc is not up to the standards I have come to expect. This is neither as well-written as "Zos Kia Kultus" nor as intense as "Demigod." "The Act Of Rebellion" has a good riff going, and "Pan Satyros" is cool, but most of this sort of blends together, and the songs don't have much individuality. If you are expecting another disc as cool as "Kultus" you will be a bit disappointed, as I was.

The end of the disc is annoying, with a bunch of silent tracks followed by a bunch of cover song bonus tracks, which are all disposable, though the band's new version of their own demo tune "From The Pagan Vastlands" points out just how much production does to define the border between Black and Death Metal. It's definitely a BM tune, but the production makes it sound a lot more like the band's newer stuff than you would think.

So "Thelema 6" is a perfectly good album from a band that has made better ones. It's pretty solid, but suffers by comparison to Behemoth's later albums.

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Interview with Nergal (Guitar/vocals) on March 5, 2003 (Interviewed by Barbara Williams (Crowley))
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Nergal on September 8, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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