Behexen released their latest album, entitled My Soul for His Glory, on 8 February (the day before my birthday, I might add). It is their first LP since 2004's By the Blessing of Satan, and it seems that their sound has undergone something of an evolution in that four year interim. The changes they seem to have made are, I assure you, for the better. Whereas By the Blessing of Satan was an onslaught of black cacophony that bordered on the unlistenable, My Soul for His Glory has a much cleaner (though still blazingly furious) sound.
Not only does the album look great (sporting excellent artwork done by Babalon Graphics), but musically it is everything that Black Metal should be. The atmosphere of blasphemous, unabashed evil is spot-on, thanks to the unexpectedly clear production that the album features. There are some great guitar riffs to be heard here--the echoing riff in "Demonic Fleshtemple" is particularly memorable. However the most pleasant surprise (insofar as this sort of raw, uncompromising Black Metal can be pleasant) lies in the rhythm section--the necessary blastbeats are present and accounted for, but they are never excessive; indeed there is a significant amount of variety in the drumming.
2008 is still young, but My Soul for His Glory is an early candidate for album of the year. Leave it to a gang of Satan-worshiping Finns to pull of a great album like this.