BEHEMOTH
"Slaves Shall Serve"

(Century Media)

01. Slaves Shall Serve
02. Entering The Pylon Ov Light
03. Penetration
04. Until You Call On The Dark
05. Demigod (live)
06. Slaves Shall Serve (live)
07. Slaves Shall Serve (enhanced video clip)

RATING: 7/10

Some might view these limited edition releases as nothing more than a cash-grab to capitalize on the success of a band's most recent album, in this case BEHEMOTH's godly "Demigod". My attitude toward it is that these releases can also be an affordable way to get some cool material from your favorite band that you may not get from a regular release, so why bitch about it? BEHEMOTH's "Slaves Shall Serve" EP is limited to 5,000 copies and in addition to the title track (as found on "Demigod"), you get an unreleased song from the "Demigod" sessions, a couple of cover songs, a couple of live tracks, and the uncensored "Slaves Shall Serve" enhanced video clip.

Put simply, the EP is a nicely packaged and interestingly varied collection of tunes. We already know that the album version of "Slaves Shall Serve" is definitive BEHEMOTH (at least the "Demigod" era) with its rapid-fire drumming, staccato riff barrage and Nergal's possessed vocals. The previously unreleased "Entering the Pylon ov Light" (from the "Demigod" sessions) hardly seems like an outtake, as it is a strong tune in its own right. It must have been a difficult decision to leave it off the album, although I kind of hear how it wouldn't quite fit with the flow of songs from "Demigod", based on its structuring. Regardless, the song's modern black metal-esque chords, the odd NILE-esque element, and epic feel make it a strong addition to the EP.

The cover songs are both interesting choices, although I guess I shouldn't be surprised that DANZIG's "Until You Call on the Dark" (from "4") was included, given Nergal's stated appreciation of the man in black's work. It is not a huge departure from the original, the guitar tone, "deathed up" delivery and of course Nergal's vocals making the difference. FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM's "Penetration" did come as some surprise, which is why it is an intriguing cover choice. The keys in the background create a different kind of ambience, BEHEMOTH not surprisingly giving it a hard-driving treatment.

The disc's scorching live versions of "Demigod" and "Slaves Shall Serve" were both recorded at Sweden Rock Festival. The band's ferocious live energy is palpable and the sound quality is excellent. The uncensored video of "Slaves Shall Serve" is also included. Too bad I cannot get the clip to play in my computer. Anyway, if you're a fan, the EP is money well spent.

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