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Review: Behemoth - And the Forests Dream Eternally
And the Forests Dream Eternally

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2020
Originally released in: 1995
Duration: 1:12:35
Tracks: 14
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: November 22, 2020
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
And the Forests Dream Eternally

Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

This is a fancy reissue of Behemoth's 1995 debut EP. The promo I'm reviewing only included the music, but the actual package is a double disc (CD or LP) with a large booklet and extra audio that should be very appealing to fans of the band.

It's been so many years of Behemoth polished (no pun intended) their sound and become more accomplished musicians that it is certainly weird to heard how raw, minimalistic and savage this debut sounded. That was how it was largely done back then and, compared with other recordings of the time, it's obvious now that Behemoth were on to something and were destined to become something bigger if they were so inclined—which they were, of course. I don't think they knew what was coming to them.

The first disc is the EP itself while the second one is a mix of live and rehearsal and preproduction tracks, which is what those who already own the EP will be most interested in. The overall quality is good, with a few exceptions where things get rather muddy, but still listenable and even giving the songs an even darker and more evil vibe, which is always cool in my book. The live songs were recorded at different times and places, so this is not a single live show put on disc. The quality there is good enough to highlight the savagery of the live delivery by the band (if you've ever seen them, you know these guys don't hold back). As one can expect, the rehearsal and preproduction tracks are mostly very raw recordings that make you work to get any enjoyment out of them; some are so raw that your speakers will sound like they've turned into the gates of hell.

Unfortunately, I can't comment on the physical extras, but they do sound juicy, so let's end this with the main bits from the press release to get you salivating: "...Booklet includes lyrics, old photos, old flyers, old interviews from magazines, liner notes from bands around the world, interviews with two Behemoth founding members (Nergal and Baal), interview with the owner of Entropy Records (original label in 1995), J-cards of rare rehearsal from 1993 (given only to close friends at the time) (...) ...scans of old signatures and descriptions of old photos."

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Interview with Nergal (Guitar/vocals) on March 5, 2003 (Interviewed by Barbara Williams (Crowley))
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