Label: Regain Records
Two seemingly contradictory statements that I consider to be true: as good as they are, Behemoth are one of the most over-rated death metal bands of our times; and Demigod is one of the best death metal albums of the past fifteen years (oh god has it really been almost that long since it came out?). The band’s later albums have been robbed of their power by a too-clean production, rendering their death metal onslaught a shadow of what it should be. But on Demigod, everything fell into place just right. The production allowed the intricacies of the band to come through strongly, whilst also ensuring the music hit with all the power it was intended to. The band have gone on to become a legitimate almost-mainstream proposition now (at least, as far as death metal goes), but Demigod still remains, to me, their best album.
What makes Demigod so good is that it simply doesn’t stop hitting. Riff after riff is unleashed, all highly technical in nature but also possessing a real muscularity and power. The drums are a ceaseless barrage, and – unlike on later albums – the production on them doesn’t render the bass drum an annoying tickticktick. And finally, Nergal’s vocals are full of charisma and confidence, bellowing like some demonic commander. The band have gone on to be far, far bigger than they were when this album was released, but Demigod is still Behemoth’s best moment if you ask me.