My Soul For His Glory
posted on 8/2008 By:
What really separates man from animal? It's not our ability to reason; animals use their mental capacity to weigh choices, make judgments and draw conclusions. It's not our pursuit of Philosophy either; just because Corky the Chimp occasionally drinks tinkle right from the source doesn't mean he's not "pondering the principles of truth" while doing so. No, what I believe truly separates man from his animal cousin is our incredible capacity for bitching. We love to bitch. And as far as humans interested in heavy metal are concerned, we love to bitch about bands taking new directions with their sound. While the grumbling is certainly justifiable from time-to-time, I honestly feel our community as a whole needs to loosen up and be more open minded when it comes to our favorite bands trying to keep things fresh over a long period of time. Case in point: this little record right here.
I've heard and read a number of folks griping about changes to the "established" Behexen sound: complaints of less raspy vocals, slower music and just a generally more polished sound delivered on My Soul for His Glory. All these things are actually true, but it doesn't change the fact that this record bites with some truly venomous black metal music. It's not devoid of a couple flat spots, but overall I'd say this is a chalice of tainted blood that will leave your brain brimming with ruinous thoughts, especially if you walk about with it snaking into your brain through headphones.
My Soul for His Glory's potency is definitely most handily delivered with its first three songs. Following the requisite "robed dudes doing nasty things to un-robed virgins" intro (unskippable because it's blended into the opening cut), "Let the Horror and Chaos Come" immediately offers evidence that Behexen are now unafraid to deliver a full song of headbangable riffs well-suited for a fist to the face of whoever currently tops your shitlist, and the clean production does wonders for spotlighting the underrated drumming talents of Horns (who also sits a-stool for Sargeist, along with Behexen vocalist Torog). "Born In the Serpent of the Abyss" (easily my favorite track on the album) starts off much faster and flails and kicks with an unrelenting rage before Torog deeply belches a beautifully placed "UH!!! - UhhhhHHH!!" shortly before another nasty slow-down (side note: folks might complain of Torog's newly lowered rasp, but the dude's deep bellows and echoed "HEH's!" really provide a wonderful kick to the stomach). The tune also features a surprisingly pretty staccato solo towards its conclusion, a technique also used fairly heavily in the follow-up cut, "Demonic Fleshtemple".
Unfortunately, the brief "666" completely knocks the wind out of My Soul for His Glory's sinful sails. 3-minutes of slow plucking with what sounds like a dying man's last curse grumbled alongside just kills the asskickery built up in the first 16-minutes by the three excellent opening tracks. The lethargy sadly continues through "Cathedral of the Ultimate Void" simply because it fails to assault due to the more "rockin'" riff nestled within its heart. The title track luckily sets things straight once again and lures the listener into another of the album's strongest cuts, the absolutely pestilent "And All Believers Shall Be Damned". This is the sort of ripping, wretched and filthy tune this band should focus on with future endeavors; I would have gladly dropped the closing "My Stigma's Bleeding Black" just to have things end on such a positively killing note.
So yeah, there are some changes afoot in the Behexen camp, but the shifts are certainly not prodigious enough to warrant the firing of torches and honing of pitchforks. In other words, this certainly ain't another Reinkaos (*shivers*). I'd say the new Behexen sound leans further towards "Swedish" black metal ala Watain: deeper vocals, a bit more beef and touches of clean 'n evil chants here and there. It's a positive step forward for a band striving to keep things fresh, and the result is a wonderfully contemptuous record.
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