I don’t think I should go over who Behemoth is. They’ve been a establishment for over 30 years in existence and became one of the biggest modern-day metal bands in the 21st century. I have been a long-time fan of this band for long as I can possibly remember the day I heard Slaves Shall Serve on MTV’s Headbangers Ball and immediately I was hooked ever since. This band has withdrawn back and fourth of having album’s that not only are well received by critic’s but over the course of time, Behemoth have shifted themselves from originally being black metal to a blackened death metal band and I think it’s safe to say that Behemoth are a legendary act in extreme music. After the latest release of 2018’s I Loved You At Your Darkest, the question remains is will Behemoth top their last handful of albums such as 2014’s cult hit of The Satanist and 2009’s Evangelion? The answer, is about 50/50. While I do think albums such as The Satanist and Demigods remain their magnum opus, Opvs Contra Natvram does have those black metal elements that were made on earlier albums but this record contains the death metal centrics and have blackened passages that sound quite nice and decent at best. Everything from the massive guitar riffage, grand atmospheres, sprawling drumming and vocals by Nergal giving that diminished and poetic styled approach, this album does follow the same route lyrically on the last couple of records while Nergal still showcases his compassion and mocking the blasphemous themes about satan, history and other metaphorical themes going into this record from beginning to end. But despite Behemoth’s last album being heated by critics across the spectrum, Opvs Contra Natvram does seem to go into a further experimental direction in having these gothic like arrangements while still maintaining the blackened death metal compositions they’re known for seems to work for them. From it’s dominating and eviscerating headbanging tracks of The Deathless Sun, Off To War! and Post-God Nirvana these songs feel as determined and ambitious when it’s executed correctly and the amount of sheer brutality and imagery for this album is quite frankly one of the highlights for me onto diving in the album the more listens I hear. Rest of the band are full of self-confidence and aren’t afraid to dive and experiment deeper into incorporating different musicial styles and structures well as reaching newer heights that longtime Behemoth fans can get accustomed to into seeing this evolution Behemoth transformed themselves is only just the beginning. Opvs Contra Natvram is a welcoming, experimental, charming and distinguished album that will take multiple listens to see Behemoth’s new trademark sound.
Overall score. 8/10
Review by Jake Butler