For every black metal fan around the world, any recommendations for Behexen are needless. For about sixteen years they have put their stigma on the underground Finnish scene, producing evil prayers and baptize the listener into black metal flames. The fact that some of the members are very busy with their side projects (Horna and Sargeist) left Behexen inactivate, with the band giving only live shows. After four years they return with “Nightside Emanations” to unleash their plague once again.

With “Nightside Emanations” the things are simple. If someone hadn’t heard Behexen before, is going to love this album. If some others (including me) have started listening Behexen with their past three records, won’t unstuck from them and “Nightside Emanations” will pass rather unconcerned. Well, I’m not backbiting the new album if you’re hurry to draw conclusions, I’m just saying that “Nightside Emanations” simply didn’t managed to overcome “Rituale Satanum“, “By the Blessing of Satan” or “My Soul for His Glory“.

With a first approach the first half of the album didn’t make great impression to me. “Wrathful Dragon Hau-Hra” is a good raw black metal track, “Death’s Black Light” is full of carving riffs, tied with melodic tremolo pickings, “Circle Me…” has a dark ritualistic character due to the bestial guitar compositions and the slow drumming and “We Burn With Serpent Fire” has also great atmosphere, including dark guitar melodies and tremendous blast-beats. But all these songs have not the thing that would blow your mind off and I guess that’s what is missing from “Nightside Emanations” to be equal with the previous stunning works.

With “Luciferian Will” we have a small past trip with the ripping tremolo picking in the middle and the fast drumming, and somewhere after the sixth track the album is starting to get more interesting for my standards. Considering the music compositions of the next song, “Awaken Tiamat” seems to have been dug up from “My Soul for His Glory“. Raw and massive guitar riffs with distorted guitar melodies on their back, are bringing up the Behexen of the past albums. The same thing exists in “Temple Of The Silent Curses” too, with distorted arpeggios as intro that leads in a grandiose tremolo picking melody and the proper drumming for the rhythm, that makes me reconsider my first opinion for the album. But that which is the peak is the psalms around the third minute that make this song the best in the album, in my opinion. “Shining Death” is also a remarkable song with two or three good moments as the solid riffs, the guitar melodies and the fast beats, before “Kiss Of Our Dark Mother” closes the record. If “Temple Of The Silent Curses” is the best track here, the last song is the darkest. The distorted arpeggios and the heavy pickings prove that, along with the ritualistic vocals. And as long as the time flows the riffs are becoming more and more raw giving an ascent to the track, cleared for a while by an extensive break down.

The conclusion is that “Nightside Emanations” is a pretty good record, especially at the second half. In many tracks there is the familiar Behexen style, but in no way the new album is their best or outweighs the previous records. The positive thing is that their music sounds more mature now and the guitar solos in some tracks are a proof of that. “Nightside Emanations” came after four years of inactivation, I guess that its purpose is to keep Behexen warmed up and succeeded it very well.

Track List Line Up
01 Intro
02 Wrathful Dragon Hau-Hra
03 Death’s Black Light
04 Circle Me…
05 We Burn With Serpent Fire
06 Luciferian Will
07 Awaken Tiamat
08 Temple Of The Silent Curses
09 Shining Death
10 Kiss Of Our Dark Mother
Hoath Torog – Vocals
Wraath – Guitar
Shatraug – Guitar
Horns – Drums