There’s something remarkably pure about Behexen that manages to encapsulate everything I like about orthodox black metal, without ever becoming stale or tired.
There’s a lot of music on The Poisonous Path; 58 minutes of utter hatred, blasphemy and Satanic might. Using only simple structures and timeless blackened templates, Behexen manage to effortlessly create music that ably represents an entire genre in a favourable light, as well as songs that just plain get the blood pumping.
After two decades of experience, you’d expect nothing less from a band like this, of course. Steeped in the rites of occult black metal and seeded in the dark, distant days of the second wave, Behexen know this kind of material intimately and it’s no wonder that The Poisonous Path strikes just the right chord with me.
This is an album full of relentless speed, dark atmospheres and grim determination. Rather than the rampant experimentation that has overtaken some of their peers, (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill), Behexen have stuck to their guns over the years and merely refined their music so that by this point it’s as sharp as a centurion’s spear. The vocals may be deeper than those of old, but if anything they’re more menacing than ever.
This latest Behexen album shows, if such a thing needed showing, that Behexen are still at the top of their game.