Before reading anything else, readers should know that Behemoth‘s latest compilation, Abyssus Abyssum Invocat, is merely a combined version of both the Conjuration and Slaves Shall Serve EPs, with a few extra bonus tracks and a 16-page art booklet that was designed specifically for this release. The band was recently happy to announce that Adam “Nergal” Darski has fully recuperated and is getting in back shape so that he can take on the world after his recent triumph over leukemia. It’s certainly a relief to see the band getting back into action, and it’s nice that they’ve graced us with some signs of life…even if those signs don’t include new material.
Abyssus Abyssum Invocat is comprised of two discs, the first of which contains both Nine Inch Nails and Venom covers (“Wish” and “The One Everyone Always Covers”, aka “Welcome To Hell”) along with some kickass concert material. Particularly noteworthy are classic tracks such as “Christians to the Lions,” “Decade of Therion,” and “Antichristian Phenomenon” from the band’s often-imitated-but-never-duplicated phase of complete fucking awesomeness. Additionally featured is “From the Pagan Vastlands” which, for enthusiasts of Behemoth‘s criminally underrated black metal phase, will be the obvious highlight of the entire double compilation.
The second disc is ten minutes shorter in playing time, and it’s highlighted by Behemoth‘s wonderful rendition of “Penetration,” originally by The Nefilim. The album’s final cover is of Danzig‘s “Until You Call On The Dark” and, quite frankly, puts a damper on disc two. Luckily, it’s followed by a live track of “Demigod,” which will indeed put the same shit-eating grin on the listener’s face that existed the first time they ever heard the song. That grinning will continue through “Slaves Shall Serve” and will conclude with fan favorite, “As Above So Below.” Behemoth is truly a master of the craft, and proves yet again that this band can produce the same amount of intensity live as it has always delivered on its albums.
In short, Abyssus Abyssum Invocat is worth the purchase if you’re a Behemoth fan who has yet to pick up either the Conjuration or Slaves Shall Serve EPs. The live tracks, given the proper sound system, will place you right in the front of the stage, staring into the eyes of the demons that have been delivering both solid albums and incredible performances for about twenty years now. Don’t be mistaken in believing the album is essential (it’s not), but think of it this way: You don’t get to see Behemoth too often; it’s loaded with the goodies necessary to make you feel like you’ve just witnessed them in concert; and it’s cheaper than the average Behemoth concert ticket these days. Unfortunately, the hearing aid you’ll need after blasting this a couple of times is sold separately.