Review by Jordan Sibberas
For those of you following the page, you’ll know we’re big fans of Poland’s finest black/death metal outfit, Behemoth. Naturally, we were very excited when their cover of The Cure’s ‘A Forest’ dropped, and were even more so when it was announced the track would be the eponymous track on a four-track EP.
The cover itself is a gloomy, atmospheric take on the track, and gains well from having Niklas Kvarforth from Shining (The Swedish one) delivering the vocals. The reverb-soaked tremolos and ambiguity to melodic lines common of black metal lend ‘A Forest’ a pensive air, and result in the track being a decent cover.
However, where I feel this EP really shines is the live version of this track, also fronted by Niklas, recorded at Behemoth’s Merry Christless show in Warsaw, Poland, from 2018. Maybe it’s Orion’s brutal attitude to playing bass that moves the bar well beyond the cliché of a “pummelling” bassline, or the way the treble frequencies in the guitar soaking into the venue are captured on the record. Or maybe, it’s the back and forth between Nergal and Niklas as the frenetic live energy of the performance crescendo, but what was captured in this live recording is very special, and bound to tie over fans of the band while we eagerly await a follow-up to 2018’s I Loved You At Your Darkest. And of course, tie them over until the green light for Behemoth to tour.
As for the two original tracks on this EP, ‘Shadows of Ea Cast on Golgotha’ and ‘Evoe’, they’re crisp and heavy tracks that would have been at home on the last record, but also share the art-rock vibe of A Forest, or their 2013 cover of ‘Ludzie Wschodu’, by Siekiera. Particularly of interest is the minimalist approach taken into certain moments and passages by Inferno (Drums), that lend a clean dynamic to these tracks.
A Forest will release May 29 via Metal Blade records, and can be found at https://behemoth-store.com/
I Loved You At Your Darkest (Metal Blade, 2018) is available also at https://www.nervegas.com.au/ILYAYD.