REVIEW: Behemoth – ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’

by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

The mighty Behemoth continues to push boundaries and innovation on their twelfth album ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’. Poland’s extreme metal heroes have set such a high precedent with their past releases and achieved soaring success in the genre, almost unparalleled, which is quite something. Fronted by Adam Darski, aka Nergal, his vision has earned this statute and expanded their sound, and this new opus adds new layers being their most extensive and mature.

The opener ’Post God Nirvana’ is ominous and mysterious. It sounds like a dark ritual is taking place in its immense and atmospheric state, setting up the gloomy and explorative path ahead.

The soaring ‘Malaria Vulgata’ is short and no-nonsense and blazes in its blistering ferocity, leading nicely to the colossal ‘The Deathless Sun’. This stunning track manages to reach the highest magnitude of heaviness and darkness and is equally rich as it is despairing.

‘Ov My Herculean Exile’ is anger fuelled and robust in context and composition. The mighty ‘Neo Spartacus’ follows and strikes hard with its battle cries and fierce instrumental journey ending with a triumphant and rebellious scream from Nergal declaring, “I Am Spartacus, and so are you!”. The song refers to Spartacus, the iconic rebel in history who stood up against a powerful empire.

‘Disinheritance’ is tumultuous and crushing, with the bass and drums getting their time to shine, seeing the track close out in dramatic and chaotic style, whilst the unpredictable and devious ‘Once Upon A Pale Horse’ displays their creative prowess further with a turbulent and compelling end.

The closing chapter ‘Versus Christus’ is unexpected with its eerie piano-led intro accompanied by clean suspenseful vocals. It’s a brilliant crushing progression that builds up musically with Nergal’s fierce vocals fully unleashed. It is an ambient and consuming offering, making for an exquisite and memorable end.

‘Opvs Contra Natvram’ is an immense force, as expected from Behemoth. It is their most cultivated and creative release whilst inherently remaining extreme, hefty, and true to their roots, again highlighting why they are at the forefront of extreme metal and rising to ever-conquering heights.

‘Opvs Contra Natvram’ is released 16th September via Nuclear Blast.

Get the album here:

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