In our ongoing quest to find our YOUR favourite album of 2014 we’re counting down the top five albums as voted for in our Metal Hammer Readers’ Album Of 2014 poll we ran on the site last week. And in third place is The Satanist by Behemoth.
We all love a comeback: a tale of triumph over insurmountable odds where the protagonist defies the challenges thrown in his path to emerge stronger than ever. Behemoth frontman Nergal may not be your typical Hollywood hero, but his battle with leukaemia, while also fending off archaic religious laws in his homeland of Poland to emerge victorious on both counts, is about as metal as it gets.
Going through this is enough for Nergal to be carried aloft through the streets, but the most astonishing part of the tale is the colossal, fervent and vital statement that was The Satanist. Channelling all the turbulence of being faced with bans, prison and death into Behemoth’s blackened death metal hybrid, this wasn’t just a phenomenal extreme metal or even rock album, but one of the most riveting and compelling musical experiences of recent times. Despite an incredible year for metal, such was The Satanist’s monolithic impact that every record released since it emerged in January never stood a chance.
From the conquering opening riffs of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel; Amen’s maelstrom of intense tempos and caustic fury; In The Absence Ov Light’s mournful descent; and O Father O Satan O Sun’s affecting, extraordinary finale, The Satanist was a journey into the band’s souls as they’re opened bare, with drummer Inferno even claiming that you “could feel the cancer pouring out of the riffs.”
From the self-empowering lyrics, the exceptional musicianship from fellow guitarist Seth and bassist Orion, even down to the artwork that included Nergal’s own blood,_ The Satanist _was a musical masterpiece. Its impact continues to be felt as the band take it to every corner of the globe.
Watch our exclusive video of frontman Nergal talking about the Behemoth’s banning from Russia.
Come back tomorrow to find out which album made it to number two…