Behemoth – “Messe Noir”

Behemoth – “Messe Noir” CD/ DVD/ Blu-Ray/ 2LP (Nuclear Blast) 

Battle Helm Rating

Aptly titled to reflect their live black mass, Poland’s black death legends Behemoth present a monster live package befitting their name – and reputation! Featuring not one, but two live sets totalling 33 tracks, it’s pretty clear that founder Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski wanted to top 2014’s phenom in “The Satanist” and with “Messe Noir”, Behemoth have birthed a colossus in their own image. Filmed by the esteemed Grupa 13 production company whose amazing videos are fast becoming legendary on the underground, the first set is from Progresja in Warsaw, while the other is from the Brutal Assault Festival in the Czech Republic. I’m sure there’s a definite intention in that from Darski, who probably wants to show that Behemoth is as menacing live – in any setting – as it is on vinyl. “Messe Noir” amply demonstrates that in both contexts, from the intimate indoor setting of Progresja to the open air experience with both sold out crowds going absolutely nuts with plenty of roars matching the band’s own volume! The performances are equally flawless from the sound to the note for note precision with no unwanted noise and in fact, deathly silence in between the numbers and once again, Darski has to be commended on executing to perfection. Resplendent in deathly corpse paint and adorning a studded hooded cloak, he is positioned to deliver his dark epics, supported majestically by his band mates in what comes across as almost a theatrical production or even opera. From ‘The Satanist’, with its tortured femme wailings and dramatic power drumming, the eerie metallic clanging gives rise to the epic passion as expressed by Darski’s drawls and his wild solos while the crowd pleasing old fave ‘Oh Father Oh Satan Oh Sun!’ has lost none of its shine, basking majestically in blast beats, atmospheric darkness and dark melodic madness before its epic ending completed by Darski’s fading spoken word. Brilliant, and I would say it doesn’t get any better than that except ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ simply does with its awesome riffs, relentless double bass drumming and catchy lyrics as acknowledged by the chanting crowd roaring out ‘..for thine is the kingdom, and the glory, forever!!!..’. Leaving you breath taken, there’s little more to say except let the art speak! 

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