“At The Arena Ov Aion – Live Apostasy” by Behemoth

Artist: Behemoth
Title: “At The Arena Ov Aion – Live Apostasy”
Label: Regain Records
Release Date: 12/9/2008
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

If you are an Extreme Metal fan that is worth their salt then you know full well about the impact and decimating power that is the band Behemoth and if you don’t know about them then it is high time that you started paying attention. Hailing from Poland, the mighty Behemoth are a take no prisoners Blackened Death Metal band that holds such power and thrall over their audiences that it leaves them numb after each and every show. If you’ve been fortunate enough to catch them in concert then you know what I mean and if you have not, then this is a lesson I insist you plan on learning. “At The Arena Ov Aion” is a live recording that somehow manages to capture the true essence and power of this band in concert and this is no easy feat to accomplish because the feeling at one of the bands shows is just so overwhelming. When played at certain volumes the listener can almost feel the anger and intensity being directed at him (or her) by the bands leader Nergal as he spits out the commands and leads his triumphant armies to march over the bones of their enemies. A Behemoth show is not for everyone I will admit, but if you love the things that bands like Suffocation or Cryptopsy do based on its speed and overall technical delivery, then Behemoth is surely one of the next wave of super powers for the Extreme Metal genre. The uneducated listener should be aware that their premise while Death Metal, has the Blackened side seasoned in and hence makes their subject matter somewhat blasphemous. They are staunchly anti-Christian which we find in songs like “Antichristian Phenomenon” and “Christians To The Lions” to cite an example. They are not recommended for the more pious of listeners that are out there.

Having seen Behemoth live a number of times I was unsure of how good a live album would present them as for me it’s always been one of those bands that must be seen in person to make it all clear to you. However, they manage to do the trick here with this one and present them in a sonically over powering manner. Behemoth plays their stuff fast as well which is to be expected and yet they have a heavy dose of technical expertise going on in the riffs. During the recording we find the guitars capable of slicing through flesh while the drumming amounts to energy that can turn your bones to powder. I realize that all of this sounds dramatic but ever since the first time I caught Behemoth I have accepted them as a band that means business and truly takes no prisoners nor suffers the insolent. One of the key reasons I feel this sounded so perfect was based on the band keeping a relatively steady lineup for the last couple of albums. I first caught them during their “Demigod” tour before I looked back into their catalog, and this recording finds the band supporting “The Apostasy” and remains Nergal, Inferno, Orion and Seth. These same players will also be found as the bands newest release “Evangelion” gets promoted and the longer a lineup remains in place the better it can sound on the stage if all of its players are of the same mindset. I’m sure the Behemoth mindset is first to educate you in their own beliefs and have you decide for yourself from them while the second is to turn your brain into pudding. The songs cover a lot of ground in the bands history and give you a dose of “Apostasy”, “Demigod” and of course their long established classics. I was glad to find the band mixing it up a bit instead of just playing one or two releases to death. We even get a drum solo from Inferno that might make you need to check your fillings as this could very well loosen them up.

This is a little pricy for a CD but totally worth having if you can find one. The fact that it presents some of the bands greatest tunes done live is a plus of course but when you consider that it actually succeeds in delivering such an intense band’s show and gives you a clear idea of what they do to your Metal psyche, it makes it a must find release. Happy hunting and “all hail Behemoth!”

Track Listing:
1. Rome 64 E.V.
2. Slaying The Prophets Of Isa
3. Antichristian Phenomenon
4. Demigod
5. From The Pagan Vastlands
6. Conquer All
7. Prometherion
8. Drum Solo
9. Slaves Shall Serve
10. As Above So Below
11. At The Left Hand Ov God
12. Summoning The Ancient Ones
13. Christgrinding Avenue
14. Christians To The Lions
15. Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth
16. Decade Ov Therion
17. Chant For Ezkaton 2000 E.V.

Official Website: http://www.behemoth.pl

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