EP REVIEW: Behemoth – A Forest

Release Date: May 29th 2020
Label: Nuclear Blast Records/Metal Blade Records
Website: www.behemoth.pl
Facebook: www.facebook.com/behemoth
Twitter: www.twitter.com/behemothband

Rating:

The past few years have seen Behemoth accelerate themselves to become the biggest extreme metal band in the planet. With many opportunities for bands to get themselves out there now being shut off, they’re using the time to uncover some unreleased content in their new EP, ‘A Forest’.

Opening proceedings is the title-track, a cover of The Cure‘s 1980 classic, ‘A Forest’. With a dramatic synth intro, the scene is set; the distinctive guitar line from the original is there, albeit manifested in a different way, building up into huge stadium-ready energy. Nergal‘s trademark growl comes in, but the canvas of a The Cure cover gives him room to incorporate a different vocal style at times, even occasionally teetering on a Jonathan Davis-esque moan. It’s a pulsating take on The Cure, but distinctly Behemoth at the same time. Adding an extra layer is the guest appearance of Shining‘s Niklas Kvarforth, with some hell-for-leather vocal performances and raw power on show.

We’re also treated to a live version, with some rousing roars of “fuck you all” from Kvarforth, and the immense power is still there. Nergal and Kvarforth also have a clear chemistry between each other, making for what would’ve been a memorable performance to those who witnessed it.

We’re also treated to two outtakes from 2018’s critically acclaimed ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’. ‘Shadows Ov Eva Cast Upon Golgotha’ is the first of these two, with this track showing a more thrash influence. ‘Evoe’, on the other hand, is more of a fist-pumping number, with a memorable riff before it indulges in blast-driven frenzy. These songs may be outtakes, and different from each other, but there’s a consistent sound and atmosphere throughout which is believable and invigorating.

This may primarily be for fans who are already signed-up members of the cult, but ‘A Forest’ is a short-but-sweet offering of what Behemoth can do best.