Philosophers, theologians, and scientists have all debated the value and purpose of suffering throughout the course of human history, with many saying that suffering is ultimately pointless and never should exist. Well, today we get an argument from the other side, showing the true value of human suffering as a motivation to overcome struggles and re-attain greatness. Metal hasn’t seen a greater example of that in recent years than Adam “Nergal” Darski, leader of Polish blackened death metal veterans Behemoth. It was over a year ago that the singer and guitarist was diagnosed with leukemia and began a long series of treatments, culminating in a successful bone marrow transplant at the end of 2010 and Behemoth’s long-awaited return to the stage last month. If you haven’t seen the videos of Behemoth playing live since Nergal’s return, do yourself a favor and go look them up. You will see a living example of how suffering has made one man stronger than ever.
Behemoth’s new release today may not have a great deal of new material, but the songs will likely be new to everyone but the most avid collectors of the band’s material. The rest of this week’s list is mostly underground and all high-quality, so be sure to take a complete look at what’s being released today!
Behemoth, Demonica (Metal Blade)
The purpose of this two-disc collection is to acquaint fans with the band’s earliest material, when they were still playing black metal before transitioning into blackened death metal. It was released in Europe in 2006, but this is the first time North American fans have a chance to get their hands on a physical copy of it. The bulk of the material is culled from the early ’90s demos The Return of the Northern Moon and …From the Pagan Vastlands, and includes covers of Hellhammer and Mayhem for nostalgia trips back to the very beginnings of black metal. There are also a number of previously unreleased songs and re-recorded versions of Behemoth fan favorites. Considering everything, though, I have to say that the inclusion of the song “Bless Thee for Granting Me Pain” remains most appropriate for the triumphant return of Behemoth.
Coalesce, Give Them Rope 2CD Reissue (Relapse)
During their heyday, the only people who knew if Coalesce was on hiatus or not were the members of Coalesce themselves. The band has broken up and re-formed more times than most fans could hope to keep track of, and even during their resurgence in the past few years, that’s still been a constant feature of the Kansas City-based band. No follow-up to 2009’s Ox has ever surfaced, but this may suffice for now. This new reissue of the group’s 1998 debut features both the original album and the 2004 remixed and remastered version, known as Give Them Rope She Said V2.0 to most. There are also liner notes by guitarist Jes Steineger for those that want to learn more about the band’s colorful history.
Riot, Immortal Soul (SPV/Steamhammer)
Riot is the American equivalent of Saxon and Rage in many ways. Having existed for a few decades at this point, the New York-based group have a cult following that dates back to their dramatic rise in popularity in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The catalyst for that rise was 1988’s Thundersteel album, and now, the lineup responsible for Thundersteel is back with the aptly-titled Immortal Soul. With their trademark mix of traditional heavy metal and modern power metal, Riot have a real treat for us with this album. And luckily for you, Metal Insider is giving you the chance to exclusively stream the entire album before its release.
Also being released this week:
H2O, Don’t Forget Your Roots (Bridge Nine)
Cathedral, Anniversary (Metal Blade)
In the Midst of Lions, Shadows (Facedown)
Andromeda, Manifest Tyranny (Inner Wound)
Theocracy, As the World Bleeds (Nightmare)
Feersum Ennjin, Feersum Ennjin (Dissociated Press)
Saving Grace, The King is Coming (Facedown)
Fallujah, The Harvest Wombs (Unique Leader)
Sandstone, Cultural Dissonance (Limb)
Infernal Legion, The Spear of Longinus (Moribund)
Funerus, Reduced to Sludge (Ibex Moon)
Chasma, Declarations of the Grand Artificer (Moribund)
Anal Cunt, The Old Testament 1988-1991 (Relapse)
Junius/Rosetta, Split (Translation Loss)
Next Week: Very little in the way of new material is scheduled as we head into the end of 2011. Come back and celebrate as we reach the beginning of the end for another great year in metal music!