Black metal is not only a mentality or an image, but a separate musical style. This is because a directed mindset that constantly hones itself towards differentiation will achieve profound change that separates it as an independent being. This happens with fully-formed music genres as well. The open-minded black metaller who associates black metal merely with an attitude, or the occultist who knows more about his ideology than about the nature of art, and specifically about music, may have time understanding this. If it truly manifests above as a separate thing, then this change will also happen in the lower worlds.
BEHEMOTH stopped playing black metal shortly after their early mediocre but enjoyable albums. Since then, the band has flirted with clichéd black metal elements so that it appears to be so to those who cannot penetrate this outer collection of tropes. The key to the inner lies in the deeper side of composition, which is guided by the relationship of the character and dynamics of the parts. While black metal is smoothly progressive and employs a wide variety of devices to entrance the listener in the manner of electronic ambient music, BEHEMOTH composes songs that have an overall effect closer to modern extreme heavy metal and at times approaches a streamlined technical death metal. In The Satanist in particular, the band starts out with their most black metal – sounding pieces which increasingly show their heavy metal base and shock rock mentality, only to shift to power metal alla Viking posers Amon Amarth by the fourth track. Within this piece and during most of what remains of the album, we hear stomp heavy shock rock dressed in blast beats and other modern tekdeth techniques.
BEHEMOTH sensationalist and vacuous approach tends to captivate impressionable youngsters who cannot yet distinguish image and punch from artistic seriousness and musical depth. Worthy travelers of the mind steppes can be expected to be able to learn to eventually see through the vulgar deception, so we may also consider this as a silver lining: its role as one of temptation to permanently ensnare lower minds which shall not soil the treasures of higher art. On the other hand, if we may leave a warning, we may save the worthy time and trouble, while the unworthy will probably not be dissuaded either way and in proud stubbornness or irredeemable stupidity remain on putrid soil.
One shall always remember that our minds feed from what we allow it to consume through our senses in the same way that our body feeds of the food it digests. Thus, the material for a strong body is in a balanced diet carefully selected to contain the material elements that strengthen it. The mind shall also be fed by that which presents concrete quality and robustness, or at least an effective passageway. Some music is as a full meal, some as an expensive wine. The Satanist is the equivalent of a synthetic two-dollar hamburger.