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Review: Behemoth - Ezkaton

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 27:56
Tracks: 7
Genre: Death/Black


Review online: November 30, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (18 Votes)

I can only assume that this Ezkaton EP is a prelude to a new full-length - some bands like to torture us that way.  This is available as a CD and as box set that includes four 7", a pendant and a CD.  What I'm reviewing here is the mp3 promo from Metal Blade, so I can't comment further on the actual packaging.  Ezkaton comprises a couple of new songs, two covers and three live tracks - the last of which is the first song, so the EP ends pretty much the way it started, although the live version does have its charms due to the live setting.  The two new songs tend mostly toward Death Metal with a somewhat blackened vibe, something that's not unusual with "modern" Behemoth.  The songs are both mid to fast-paced, and the speed is provided mostly by some fast, razor-sharp guitar shredding - practically a trademark for the band - and the drums follow suit to some extent, but sparing us the expected barrage of blast beats and instead going for some heavy, thundering drumming, much more effective here considering the dark and heavy atmosphere of both songs.

The covers are... covers - people will either hate them or love them.  Covers have that effect on people.  I didn't check the track listing the first couple of times I listened to this and thought "hey, this sound familiar"... Well duh!  Master's Hammer is a given, but the Ramones cover will sure ring a bell to many non-metallers, and Behemoth's version is pretty cool, with a somewhat Black 'n' Roll-ish vibe to it that's however overshadowed by the more Death Metal delivery that kicks in after a few seconds.  The live material just makes me hope to see these guys live again soon - the one time I saw them, they all had the flu and still managed to outplay the headliners (though Suffocation fans may disagree... but it wasn't during Behemoth's set that a bunch of people walked out, so there. ;))  "From the Pagan Vastlands" is a Behemoth flagship song and is always a pleasure to hear, even though they do like to put that one up as a bonus track, don't they? :)

In short, a nice little EP which shows that Behemoth can still deliver while waiting for the next full-length.  Surely the deluxe box set is a collector's item for fans of the band, no matter what's on it.

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