It’s safe to say that Poland’s Behemoth retain the title as one of the world’s most prolific, enigmatic and well-respected artists within the extreme metal genre. Their extensive back catalogue, including their most recent offering, 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘The Satanist’, has generate a standard over this band that has yet to be replicated, let alone reached by their counterparts. Fast forward four years, and Behemoth have released ‘Messe Noire: Live Satanist’, a live DVD showcasing the grandiose and sinister live setting that Behemoth have crafted over their years, condensed into almost 3 hours of unholy excellence.
With any live DVD, there are two things that can make or break the success of one’s release – the quality of in-house mixing/mastering and the set list chosen during the event(s), and I’m pleased to say that ‘Messe Noire: Live Satanist’ delivers un-paralleled, studio-quality mixing throughout the entire live setting, on top of a well-diversified track list comprising the length of Behemoth’s illustrious career. From opener Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel, through to the climactic Chant For Ezkaton 2000, this is the ultimate visual display of a band not only in their musical prime, but at a position in their career that with steps in this direction, could land them on the peak of the extreme metal food chain.
I’ll keep this short and sweet, ‘Messe Noire’ is a visual masterpiece, a vicious yet melancholic assault on the senses, invoking both the eyes and ears of the viewer to question their own perception of what live concert standards can be. Where ‘The Satanist’ has created an almost unreachable standard for studio albums of the metal genre, ‘Messe Noire: Live Satanist” has created the same almost unreachable standard for Live DVDs. Extreme metal is one sub-genre that is incredibly niche, with an immense appreciation curve at the beginning for any metal head to encounter, but I believe that in saying that, Behemoth’s latest live offering presents a unique opportunity for not only die-hard fans across the band’s decades of activity to revel in its visual splendour, but for potential fans to have an immediate grasp on not only the sounds of the dark and extreme, but to witness a critical aspect of a genre – the visual appeal. Nergal, Seth, Orion & Inferno have once again proved to the world that they belong on the pinnacle of metal.
So enough with this review, you should know by now what I’m trying to say – get this DVD and clear out an evening to watch this absolute masterpiece.