Review

Review

Behemoth: 'Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel' EP Review and Music Video [NSFW]

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Poland's premier blackened death metal overlords have finally returned after a lengthy hiatus, and based on this new taste of their forthcoming album The Satanist – their first studio release since Evangelion in 2009 – it sounds like they haven't dialed back their diabolical power in the slightest. If their newly-released EP "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" is any indication, they're taking no prisoners this time, and I expect nothing less from this terrifying trio.
 
“We took all the time in the world to complete this project,” says frontman Nergal, describing it as “an ecstatic manifest of our unrestrained artistic will, where we dare to reach out beyond the limitations of the heavy metal genre... and it's only the beginning.” I agree completely
 
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This EP demonstrates the band hasn't lost their edge in the years after Evangelion, and for my money the title track is among their best work to date. From the mesmerizing central riff with evil harmonics, a ritual bell-tone rising over the tribal tom-beats and Nergal's scorching vocal delivery, “Gabriel” is prime Behemoth in spirit, but musically bears a striking resemblance to the later output of Portuguese gothic metallers Moonspell. (As a long-time fan of that band as well, I have no problem with this comparison.) As if that weren't enough to whet your evil appetite for the impending arrival of The Satanist, the EP also includes two tracks not included on the standard album: “If I Were Cain” and “Ludzie Wschodu,” a cover of a track by legendary Polish punk band Siekiera.
 
The 12” vinyl edition of "Gabriel," signed by all three band members, is available directly from the band's official site and Nuclear Blast Europe (they only pressed 1,000 units, so you'd better move on it), and you can also purchase the single as a digital download from iTunes (though without the bonus tracks). The North American release of The Satanist is slated for February 4th, and Metal Blade is taking preorders now. The album will be available in multiple editions, including a deluxe box with a bonus DVD including a complete live set from Ekaterinburg, Russia and a documentary on the making of the album... plus the supreme cover art (shown below) by Russian occult artist Denis Forkas includes Nergal's own blood mixed with the paint – a move that carries much symbolic weight after his hard-fought victory over leukemia in 2010.
 
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Now for the best part: you can always count on Behemoth and their frequent visual collaborators Grupa 13 to shatter your skull with their extreme music videos, and the uncensored clip for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” is no exception. Like most of their companion films, this one features nudity, graphic violence and other shocking atrocities (hell, I can't even repeat the lyrics without violating standards and practices), but it's still a damn classy presentation, drawing on imagery from the silent classic Häxan, Ingmar Bergman's Hour of the Wolf and even Ridley Scott's Gladiator.
 
Press play if you dare... and I'll warn you one last time, this thing is totally unsafe for work.
 
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