2018 : Nuclear Blast
Format : CD / LP / DVD / Blu-Ray
It’s been a long time since Grom and Pandemonic Incantations era Behemoth was a thing. To be honest, that’s fine with me. While sometimes it’s worth looking into the past, I’m of the opinion that Behemoth is best looking forward. 2014’s, The Satanist was a metal milestone as far as songwriting and lyrics were concerned. Nergal’s public fight and ultimate triumph over leukemia has made him wiser, stronger and solidified his status as a conqueror of death itself.
Messe Noire almost presents itself as a swansong to this album cycle. With two full live sets (Warsaw, Poland on October 8, 2016 and Brutal Assault 2016) and the complete music video archive of The Satanist it’s a must own. The video portion offers hours of content that’s well worth the $25 while the CD consists of a live show with a setlist that features The Satanist played in its entirety front-to-back.
These kind of recordings are usually hard to review because it essentially compiles material most of us have already heard. So it’s less about, ‘is the music good?’ and more along the lines of, ‘what’s the recording like?’ To that I’d answer, “Spectacular.” It’s hard to encapsulate an energetic band like Behemoth on record, but Messe Noire does it well enough that you’ll be able to revisit the audio portion several times over. As I’d mentioned above though, it’s not the audio portion that pulled me towards picking a copy, it’s the video. While Blu Ray has been a thing for nearly a decade now, it seems a lot of metal bands and labels are just now jumping on board with it. Messe Noire‘s Blu Ray didn’t feel like a cheap port of its DVD counterpart, it has everything I’d expect from a higher quality format; sharper image quality, less compression, and interactive menus. It also offers the audio only version of the Live Satanist performance in 5.1 with 1080p video.
The image quality is about as good as you’re going to get out of a Blu Ray disc. There’s also a section dedicated to all of the music videos that were released for The Satanist. If you’ve seen any of these, then you’ll know why I’m encouraging everybody to pick this collection up. To have them all in one place and in an audio/video quality that’s far superior to anything they’ve released online is quite a treat.
The entire set is housed in a digibook package with glued in liner notes and some live shots. Oddly enough, since this is a live album that seems focused more on the video portion than the audio. Unless you plan on buying multiple formats, it might actually be worth skipping the LP version in favor of the DVD/Blu Ray. As far as I can tell, the vinyl version doesn’t come with the live footage at all, so unless you plan on buying both versions (or one of the bundles), you’ll miss out on 90% of the content.