Behemoth – Grom (Album Review)

Release Date: March 31st 2023 - Metal Blade Records

Behemoth - Grom

The titans from Poland, Behemoth, need no introduction. Grom is not a new album but a lavish re-issue of their second full-length that was originally released in 1996 that focused more on the experimental and the Paganism/Spiritualism that was prevalent in the movement.

Upon its initial release, Grom was considered controversial for reasons now forgotten or how musical tastes and experimentalism has changed.  The first album to feature the line-up of Nergal Baal ( bass)  and Les ( drums), much has been made of the chanting male vocals, touches of ambience, acoustic and female vocals as on the epic ‘’The Dark Forest (Cast Me Your Spell)’’. Grom is also a cracking black metal record containing the visceral energy the band is instantly recognized for.

Behemoth was stretching the boundaries of the traditional yet found themselves loyal to it on this album. The synth of Dragons Lair is countered by the fury of the trve on ‘’ Rising Proudly Towards the Sky’’.
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For many, Grom is considered  Behemoths pinnacle of excellence with its experimentalism and overall aggressiveness, the riffs are blistering, and the drumming stretches the tempos to new dimensions.  The seeds of the current Behemoth era are here, the grand concepts and the uncompromising spirit,  but the death metal inspirations and polish are missing and the result is an album that is raw and true to its underground and heritage (With many vocals in native Polish).

For Behemoth fans, a re-issue is not just that but a beautiful representation of the band’s history that is true to their aesthetic. Disc two contains three hard to find covers, the apt Freezing Moon (Mayhem), the thrash of Total Desaster (Destruction) and their ode to the godfathers of extreme polish music, Ostatni tabor (Kat). There are also rare rehearsals from that era and a cracking 2021 version of ‘’ Lasy Pomorza ‘’. Combined with a 48-page book containing new interviews and archival material, this is a must for any fan.

For those who haven’t experienced the early days of Behemoth, then Grom is a must-listen. Bold, adventurous and pure to its lineage of extreme and black metal where the seeds of damnation were sown and beginning to bear fruit.
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Behemoth: Facebook

Release Year: 2023
Label: Metal Blade Records
Category: Album
Country: Poland

Reviewed by Sparky