The 100 greatest albums of the 21st century: 9-6
Our poll of the 100 best albums of the 21st century continues. Well into the top 10 now, Behemoth, Mastodon and Killswitch Engage are some of part 3's heavy hitters...
9) BEHEMOTH - THE SATANIST (2014)
Behemoth’s The Satanist not only marked Nergal’s return from the brink, it served as extreme metal’s crowning achievement of the century
Released in 2009, Evangelion had already blown Behemoth out of the underground, transforming the Polish blackened death metallers from cult heroes to one of the leading extreme metal bands on the planet. But in its aftermath came news of frontman Nergal’s battle with leukemia, as well as brushes with religious authorities back home in Poland following an incident where he tore up a Bible onstage, and five years would pass before a follow-up surfaced. The wait was worth it: The Satanist was not only voraciously received by fans and critics, but would prove iconic, demonstrating a more organic, honest and personal side to Behemoth – perhaps no surprise, given its origins.
“It was very much rooted in the healing process,” Nergal explains today. “I don’t want to say that the album was a reaction to my leukemia, but it was definitely a reaction to my whole life, and I definitely had a need to redefine myself as a human being. That’s why The Satanist resonates on so many levels and so many dimensions. It was very much rooted in where I came from. It was like a rebirth of an artist, of a human being – there was this fire deep within that should be unleashed, and it was manifested in the form of this record.”