Behexen
Poisonous Path

With this, the latest album from Finnish black metal band Behexen,  they bring us their next offering of 2nd wave orthodox tinged blackness. Those that know, they have been around for quite a while and are a staple in the black Finnish metal scene. They began in a much more raw and chaotic vein with albums like, Rituale Satanum and By the Blessing of Satan but since then have became more refined (for lack of better words) with later albums and sometimes the most talked about subject being the approach of vocalist Hoath Torog,  who now employs a more deathly lower pitched voice instead of the typical higher register of the first albums. With connections and association of its members  (past and present ) from such luminaries as Sargeist, Horna,Calvarium and Bestial Torture, never can any doubt be given to the standard and pedigree of the musicianship involved.

With the Poisonous Path, Behexen have created a unrelenting monster of an album with a sound compromising a bit of Dark Funeral, Charon and Watain and making themselves to be spoken in the same words as them when considering this album for 2016 year end lists or just for their own personal faves. I will admit I have not had an opportunity to hear the last album Nightside Emanations, so going into this album from my last basis of judgement My Soul for His Glory, I can hear the further progression contained in this disc, the darkness and atmosphere is almost tangible and lures you in with its emanations.The album sets the tone immediately with the 1st song and title track, much like the image on the cover, it beckons you in, with its sound, the message it conveys of darkness and evil, which waits to corrupt you. Listen for that tolling bell at about the 5:30 mark, what a great addition. You get a sense of those early albums but like mentioned, this beast is dark, punishing, not razor wire, necro black metal but louder, fuller, just listen to the tone of the drums how loud they come across in the mix, guitars and bass create a wall of sound that just slams into you. “Tyrant of the Luminous”, gives you that wall of sound, simple and repetitive but can you fault that for the punishment that it bestows upon you? The song ends with Torog using almost spoken word chant / sermon in his voicing. Its interesting to note that the band did give indications of this musical approach in as far back as Rituale Satanum and its title track with its more slower plodding nature.

“Chalice of the Abyssal Water” & “Cave of the Dark Dream” both bring about the Dark Funeral vibe, with their more quickened pacing. A fault, maybe to call upon this album, is that everything is mixed loud and sort of evenly, so songs can be a bit noisy and when played together ,hence some of the songs may get a bit lost in the miasma and at 10 songs, this is not too much of an issue. One word, or words I have mentioned here continually in this review is dark, unrelenting, monstrous and if you need one song to hammer that home, it’s the album finale, “Rakkauddesta Saatanaan”. Such a great way to end the album and shows such great restraint and confidence with the band to show you don’t need unrelenting speed to damage you but this can batter you just the same. I feel Behexen got a winner here with their continued progression and delving deeper into their own brand of darkness.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Will 'Bones' Lee
July 14th, 2016

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