The phrase "Polish metal band" is no joke. Some of the best underground acts on the planet hail from there, including Behemoth, simply one of the most creative, underrated death-metal bands around. These guys have a slight image problem: They wear the spikes and Kabuki paint of a black-metal outfit, but their bass-heavy rumble and blasting rhythms are pure death metal, filtered through a baroque European sensibility.

Demigod is just as heavy as 2003's preacher-sample-heavy Zos Kia Cultus, but it's also more progressive and aggressive. Guitarist and vocalist Nergal and session shredder Seth lock together intricate riffs in classic death-metal fashion, with high-pitched, punctuating squeals reminiscent of Morbid Angel. And while most death-metal grunters at least sound like people (albeit extremely constipated and/or nauseated people), Nergal, on the other hand, sounds completely inhuman. Whatever filter he is shouting through makes his voice sound like a tornado-sized tower of flame with a demon howling at its center, a truly impressive and intimidating effect. This, combined with the disciplined fury of the music, marks Behemoth as an act US metal fans need to discover, and Demigod as a classicist yet experimental record well worth checking out.


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