BEHEMOTH has published on 29 May 2020 a four-track EP called ”A Forest” via New Aeon Musick, which consists of two versions of the title track and two original songs.
The Polish band does not really need any introduction: their status is pretty well known, not just to listeners of blackened death metal.
The fatal attraction of metal bands to Gothic rock isn’t a secret either: speaking about this specific song, written by THE CURE back in 1980, another black metal band, CARPATHIAN FOREST, already recorded a cover version in 1998.
BEHEMOTH’s interpretation does sound like a perfect combination between the original version and the band’s personal style, which is, in my opinion, a basic feature for every cover song; the artist does not merely try to sound like the author, but manages to find a well-balanced mix between their own style and the original song in its distinctive feeling, especially if we’re talking about big names surrounded by some kind of a sacred aura.
In this case, we witness a further level of bravery, since there is a special guest: Niklas Kvarforth, frontman of the Swedish depressive black metal band SHINING. He is playing the role of the singer, along with Nergal himself. The outcome in both versions is powerful and eerie as it should be; the studio version adds a lot of pathos in the style of BEHEMOTH, but I’d personally say that there’s something of Kvarforth’s band as well since his unique singing style involves and recalls some specific traits and feelings typically connected to that image of the world.
The live version was recorded at the Merry Christless show in Warsaw back in 2018. The energy flow and adrenaline rush between the band and the audience are almost touchable and make this live version of ”A Forest” truly special. A video was shot during the band’s performance in Helsinki in February 2020. Niklas joined BEHEMOTH on stage, making the whole thing intentionally disturbing and unforgettable.
The second half of the EP consists of two original songs from BEHEMOTH. “Shadows ov Ea Cast upon Golgotha” has a punkish vibe that provides a rather interesting contrast with the topic of the lyrics: the title itself is a clear referral to the crucifixion site of Jesus Christ, and Nergal, as usual, sees himself as the nemesis.
As with the previous song, ”Evoe” was also recorded during the recording sessions for the band’s latest album, ”I Loved You at Your Darkest,” and shows a similar kind of a general atmosphere, in the typical and well-established BEHEMOTH trademark sound, but also recalls of the band’s early years thanks to its black ’n’ roll vibe.
In the end, “A Forest” works pretty well as an additional proof of the band’s versatility and ability to test themselves outside metal music, since playing a cover of such a legendary song could also be quite tricky. The previously unreleased tracks are a nice gift to every supporter of the band who’s patiently waiting for the next album.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- A Forest
- A Forest (Live at Merry Christless 2018, Warsaw)
- Shadows ov Ea Cast upon Golgotha
Nergal – vocals, guitars
Niklas Kvarforth – guest vocals (tracks 1 and 2)
Orion – bass
Inferno – Drums
New Aeon Musick