Behemoth – Demigod (2004) Album Review

Poland. A country that after the communist regime collapsed, started to develop a strong interest regarding underground metal. We have early bands like Hate or Vader that started taking death metal as their main genre. In the 90s, fueled by other black metal bands from the first wave (Mayhem, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Venom, etc) the polish black metal community started to bloom.

Today, probably the most known and the most important band of the underground metal scene in Poland is Behemoth. Unlike the Norwegian black metal scene, the Polish black metal scene was not involved in stuff like church burnings though some bands, including Behemoth are very oppressive and rejecting with everything that refers to Christianity or religion in particular.

In their early years, the band played a typical black metal style with it’s already well known traits but after the 1999 release of their album Satanica, they confirmed their presence on the blackened death metal scene revolving around themes such as occult, mythology and satanism in particular. One thing is for sure, I love the new Behemoth rather than the old one. This style fits much more for Nergal‘s brutal voice and considering that their live concerts are a feast mainly because they feature not one but 3 vocals, it surely is something that every metal fan should look forward to.

Demigod is actually the bands 7th full length studio album which was released in 2004 with Inferno (drums), Orion (bass) and Seth (guitar). Like many bands, Behemoth withstood many line-up changes but since 2004 once Orion and Seth became official members this line-up was maintained until today. Because of so many line-up changes, Behemoth suffered in terms of musical style too, by incorporating the elements from the main musicians which were changed during their early years.

Demigod is the start of a band that this time seems solid in line-up and in my opinion, is the start of an even better Behemoth, ready to conquer all. It starts with the song Sculpting the Throne of Seth which features music written by Nergal and lyrics by Seth and it depicts a war resolution. This song refers to a world without a god, where everyone is their own god and represents a vow that the land will not remain unconquered.

The second track of this album, entitled Demigod is far more expressive than the first one. In this one Nergal used his own traits in order to write this song, individuality, life, ambition are just some virtues that Nergal made references in this song claiming that as he listens to the opening he could imagine “the berserk, frenzied, undefeated Roman legions”. Apparently this song also makes a reference to a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche.

It is not long until it reaches it’s climax with probably the best song from this album Conquer All which is one of their most brutal songs, and a song that sends a very Anti-christian message claiming that “2000 years is nothing / though it’s been enough“. The video is not so impressive and the voice is very brutal and because of the fast guitar riffs and tempo, it can barely be understood. This song is once again inspired from a famous quote taken from Crowley. With this song Nergal wanted to make that quote a lot more expressive.

The Nephilim Rising refers to the Nephilim myth and it makes references to opportunities, having ambition and determination, it tries to send a message that it is not easy to claim that some stuff are above or below others and the stuff that judge these are the human evolution, history, universe and existence is more on a vertical line. Towards the Babylon represents a tribute to the gods which in Nergal’s point of view stand as “guardians of his own mortality, full of vitality and beauty but at the same time, being cruel and merciless with enemies“.

The 6th track Before Aeons Came has music written by Nergal and lyrics written by Charles Swinburne from his work “Atlanta in Calydon“. It refers to stuff such as liberty, relation between pain and pleasure and the psychology of sexual passion. You can see through the lyrics that the author had a pagan view.

The 7th track Mysterium Coniunctionis (Hermanubis) deals with the same occult themes that we were used to from Behemoth while the 8th track entitled Xul represents the Sumerian word for “evil” but if you read it backwards it will give you the Latin word “Lux” which means “light”.

The 9th track and yet the climax point of this album Slaves Shall Serve is once again a song that makes references to Christianity. It depicts Christianity as a perpetrator, enslaving people and controlling them being one of the things religion does best and yet it manages to be unobserved or ignored by the masses. This song is an inspiration from “The Book of the Law“.

Finally, this album ends with the longest track, the 10th track, The Reign of Shemsu-Hor which represents a civilization that existed before the ancient Egyptians. They were considered by Andrew Collins, fallen angels and they were more like a sacred society. A long song, but it also features vocals from Seth and not only Nergal.

Behemoth as a band has a special place in the black metal community and with this album they also stand as one of the front runners of the polish blackened death metal scene. Demigod is actually the start of a Behemoth more interesting and more brutal than ever before never willing to do anymore compromises. If you wish to listen to one of their albums, look no further, pick this one, you will definitely enjoy it.

Overall Impression: 88/100

About Izegrim
Anime fan, metal fanatic and art lover.

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