BEHEMOTH DOES THE CURE: Behemoth’s A Forest finds the Polish extreme black metal legends embarking on one of their most ambitious projects yet—covering The Cure’s “A Forest,” the seminal track from the band’s 1980 record Seventeen Seconds that helped to define The Cure’s gothic period of the late 70s and early 80s. Joined by Niklas Kvarforth from Shining, Nergal has created something so inherently Behemoth, a track that, while it really does needs to be heard to be believed, does a nice job in paying homage to the original Cure classic. It’s what you’d expect—dark, menacing, heavy, unrelenting, and gloomy, somehow all at the same time. As a lifelong Cure fan, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this cover, nor am I quite sure about how I’m supposed to feel. Let’s put it this way, I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. Like I said, it’s pretty much what you’d expect Behemoth doing The Cure would sound like. The following live version of “A Forest,” recording during Behemoth’s Merry Christless show in Warsaw, Poland, is far superior to that of the studio version—it just has more life to it. Niklas Kvarforth calling the crowd “pussies” and constantly yelling “fuck you” at them is a highlight of the track for sure.
Rounding out A Forest are two new tracks, “Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha” and “Evoe.” The former is filled with militant percussion, venomous riffs, and dank atmospherics, while the latter is the best track of the EP. “Evoe” is an old school melodic death metal tune—bouncy, semi-melodic hooks bookended by thunderous guitar work and Nergal’s frightening delivery. Behemoth’s A Forest is quite the mood piece to say the least. ~ Brian Campbell