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Behemoth: Chaotica The Essence Of The Underground

Since around 1991 the deadly Behemoth had focused intense and evil gaze on Extreme Black Metal and they would remain in this genre until 2004 with the release of the epic Demigod. The CD found them moving into the realms of Technical Death Metal and the worlds of music have never been the same. The release of Chaotica: The Essence Of The Underground is the perfect way for those who are fans of the bands most recent activity to learn of their storied past and perhaps to remind their existing acolytes of their continued dominating presence in Metal as a whole. Formed and founded by Nergal, this double CD is a retrospective of these formative years and features almost 150 minutes of screaming Black Metal that is sure to sear the flesh from your mortal bones. The material comes from their first albums and is completely remastered which brings the clarity and intensity to new life more than ever before and believe me this is some powerful stuff happening from start to finish.

The package is broken up into two sections with the first being Storms To Unleash and the second Thunders To Erupt. On the first CD, the earliest material (1994), we find Nergal mastering all guitars and vocals while drums are destroyed by Baal Ravenlock. The level of musicality displayed this early in the bands life shows just the kind of creative genius that Nergal was for this format. Some of the feels and patterns are still performed by today's Black Metal greats and clearly Behemoth was one of the main influencers here. I loved the power felt in "Wolves Guard My Coffin" and one could feel the despair and melancholy of "Hell Dwells In Ice", a song that was entirely piano and spoken word. Not a common setup in a Black Metal song back then to say the least. The second CD finds the lineup increased to Les on bass and Inferno on some drums. Inferno is part of the lineup of today and is a crucial part of the bands ability to crush ones skull in the live sense. This CD also includes two never before heard covers by the band of music by Destruction and The True Mayhem. It is wrapped in a digipak case and folds out to present some intense artwork and photos. The included booklet is 16 pages and features lyrics to all the music on the two CD's and also photos from this time in the bands history. There are additional liner notes added as commentary about the release by Nergal himself.

The discerning Black Metal fan cannot go wrong with this one as it is largely historical in nature and features material so long out of print finally in remastered form. Behemoth fans will trample to get it so do the wise thing and join these hungry legions. Nergal is expecting you let's not keep him waiting too long.

Track Listing
  1. The Chant From The Eastern Lands
  2. The Touch Of Nya
  3. From The Pagan Vastlands
  4. Hidden In A Fog
  5. Ancient
  6. Entering The Faustian Soul
  7. Forgotten Cult Of Aldaron
  8. Wolves Guard My Coffin
  9. Hell Dwells In Ice
  10. The Dark Triumph
  11. Cursed Angel Of Doom
  12. Translyvanian Forest
  13. Moonspell Rites
  14. Sventevith (Storming Near The Baltic)
  15. Pure Evil And Hate
  16. Forgotten Empire Of Dark Witchcraft
  17. Intro
  18. The Dark Forest (Cast Me Your Spell)
  19. Spellcraft & Heathendom
  20. Dragons Lair (Cosmic Flames And Four Barbaric Seasons)
  21. Lasy Pomorza
  22. Rising Proudly Towards The Sky
  23. Thou Shalt Forever Win
  24. Grom
  25. Total Disaster
  26. Freezing Moon
  27. With Spell Of Inferno
  28. Hidden In A Fog
  29. Sventevith (Storming Near The Baltic)

Added: March 2nd 2007
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Behemoth Website
Hits: 4141
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Behemoth: Chaotica The Essence Of The Underground
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-03-02 08:57:33
My Score:

Amazing how Behemoth have grown over the years. Chaotica is basically a primer for those who have never heard the band's earlier black metal roots, as it takes many of the songs from their first few albums, in remastered form, and houses them in a stellar 2 CD digipack set, complete with lyrics and photos. Fans of the band who have only heard their more recent technical death metal material will be surprised at how raw and black they sound on these recordings. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to distinguish songs like "Thou Shalt Forever Win","The Dark Forest", and "Hidden in a Fog" from most other early 90's black metal acts from Norway. The fact that Behemoth are from Poland, a country not really known for producing solid black metal, makes this set all the more appealing. While the band still wears the spikes and corpse paint today, the tortured vocal shrieks, desolate atmosphere, and shrill guitar work has really changed over the years into a much more brutal and technical output. Fans of Immortal, Emperor, Mayhem, Bathory, and Satyricon will no doubt relish the cold, dark, and powerful sounds eminating from Chaotica. One listen to "Sveintevith (Storming Near the Baltic)", and you'll be hit by the frigid blasts from the deep, dark Poland landscapes, courtesy of Nergal and company.

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