Behemoth - Thelema.6
Olympic Recordings
Black Metal with a Twist
12 songs (41'09")
Release year: 2001
Behemoth, Olympic Recordings
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

It has been eating at me for some time that I may not have written the best review I possibly could for Behemoth latest album Zos Kia Cultus. So, before they come out with the next new studio effort I thought I should rectify the situation. For this I picked out Thelema.6, not Grom or Sventevith. The reason for my choice partially is the fact I am a lot less familiar with Behemoth earlier works. Another reason, however, is the very simple truth that I love this album and would like to tell about it.

For those of you who don’t know about Behemoth you would probably not even bother to open the link, but if you are reading this, it is about time you check them out. Without a doubt, one of the most talented and unorthodox extreme metal bands, coming from Poland Behemoth has been on the scene since 1992, first releasing mostly demos and pagan black metal albums. Things have started to change in 1999 when short and raging Satanica joined black metal creepiness and death metal cohesiveness for Behemoth. It sort of became Behemoth’s Reign in Blood (not that Slayer ever had anything black metal about it, but Satanica was as much defining for Behemoth as RiB was for Slayer). Thelema.6 came in next and took the plank even higher.

Everything on Thelema.6 is how you not expected it to be and better than you expected it to be at the same time. Take the opener Antichristian Phenomenon. Just like when the short narrative “We would like to kill off the most of the human race as it does not deserve the gift of life” ends, you expect the band to come out blasting their instruments. Instead, this monstrous slow lead just crawls into your subconscious and stays there. Tribal drumming co-exists with Morbid Angel crazy solos on The Act of Rebellion. Even occasional clean shout makes an appearance in Vinvm Sabbati and 23(Youth Manifesto), while most of the vocals I could characterize as fire breathing and very audible bellowing.

I could tell you about the outstanding musicianship of mastermind/guitarist/vocalist Nergal and drummer Inferno. I could tell you that the whole album is based on the interplay between those two. Inferno is both very fast and very accurate. In between his blasting he makes dozens of tom runs, never forgets his cymbals or high-hat. Nergal’s guitar is a catchier and a lot less convoluted version of Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel). Nergal can have tightest riffs (Inauguration of Scorpio Dome) or run scales (Vinvm Sabati) or be mid-Eastern and mystical as he is on many occasions on Thelema.6. I also tend to really like his vocals, powerful, easy to hear and blasphemous.

My most important point with Thelema.6 however is this. Unlike many other albums almost every song invokes a graphic picture in my mind. In Pan Satyros it is crowds roaming the streets carrying burning flames, in Christians to the Lions it is dark and burning rage, in Inauguration of Scorpio Dome it is a descent into a dark catacomb that suddenly gets out of control, in Vinvm Sabati it is a feeling of a dungeon closing overhead. The starkest feeling, however, is Natural Born Philosopher. It is possible that Hollywood will create a film director who would not be afraid to use this song in the soundtrack for the next Omen movie. Natural Born Philosopher spits venom coming all the way from some abandoned tomb in Aleppo.

I believe Thelema.6 has been very influential, just listen to what Melechesh puts out and see if you agree. Also, every time I listen to the album I have a different favorite song. Why don’t you pick up an album, off the shelf if you own it or from the store if you don’t, and tell me what your favorite song would be? This should make for an interesting debate.

Killing Songs :
The whole album
Alex quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Behemoth that we have reviewed:
Behemoth - The Satanist reviewed by Jared and quoted 70 / 100
Behemoth - ...From The Pagan Vastlands reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Behemoth - Satanica reviewed by Khelek and quoted 92 / 100
Behemoth - Evangelion reviewed by James and quoted 92 / 100
Behemoth - The Return Of The Northern Moon reviewed by James and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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