CD Review: ‘The Satanist’ by Behemoth

Sometimes The Devil answers prayers too.


Review by David Feltman

After beating leukemia with the help of a bone marrow transplant, lead vocalist and guitarist Nergal returns to practice the dark arts on Behemoth’s tenth studio release. Sometimes The Devil answers prayers too. The Satanist is pitch black, ferociously heavy and perhaps the most energetic album the band has ever released.

As longtime fans are likely familiar, the band has constantly swayed between black and death metal over the past 20 plus years, moving stylistically from one to the other without ever really finding its groove. Well that has all changed. Behemoth takes the ironically hallowed ambience of black metal and infuses it with melodic guitar shredding and galloping rhythms. Every track is a blast and songs like “The Satanist” and “O Father, O Satan, O Sun!” are epic in scale. It’s the sort of album fans wait and hope for.

While ever Satanically centric, the band takes it Thelmic themes to new highs; something unsurprising for an album named The Satanist. Lyrics like “I don’t believe in God. Give me man! May he be like me, troubled and immature, confused and incomplete, dark and obscure so that I can dance with him,” reveals less of the compulsive hatred of the Judeo-Christian tradition typically found in black metal and more of a secular celebration of existence. Not to say that there isn’t a healthy helping of Satan hailing and Heaven smiting on the album, but Nergal and company are expressing a certain, albeit metal, “joie de vivre.” The Satanist is every inch a comeback album and Behemoth shows it’s happy to be back.

You can find more Behemoth on the band’s website or on Facebook. And you can check out the new music video below (a word of warning, the video may say censored but it sure as hell ain’t safe for work).


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