Behemoth is a Blackened Death Metal band formed in Poland in 1991. Led by then-fifteen-year-old guitarist and vocalist Nergal, Behemoth has created enormous momentum over the past decade as a major band within the underground black metal scene. Over the years, the band, in a very natural way, gradually changed its sound to a sound more focused on Death Metal without losing its identity.
The band makes a very different Death Metal than the conventional one; just like Nile, the band makes Death Metal with elements from the Middle East (oriental metal). With their heavy and well-crafted sound, today, Behemoth is known and admired by many Extreme Metal fans worldwide.
Behemoth was formed in 1991 by the leader, current guitarist and vocalist of the band Nergal and by former members Baal (drums) and L. Kaos (guitar). It started as pure and primitive Black Metal.
They released “Endless Damnation”, which was the band’s first work. After some time, they released the demo From the “Pagan Vastlands” which was recorded by Pagan Records (which was their first record deal). After the release of the EP “And the Forests Dream Eternally” followed by the album “Sventevith” (Storming Near the Baltic), the band gained a more positive outlook that ended up winning a record deal with Solistitium Records.
The release of the album “Grom” was a big surprise; the album was very different from the band’s old sound, with the use of female vocals and the use of acoustic guitars. Due to the album’s rise, the band could tour Europe and other places.
Three years later, the band released a new album titled “Pandemonic Incantations”, and it was a huge success for the band because the band’s career was short. The album earned them a huge tour. The band signed a record deal with Italy on Avantgarde Music in 1998.
Hell during concert
The first album with the label’s collaboration was “Satanica” (considered the band’s best album by many fans), which changed its style from purist Black Metal to Death Metal. The album led to tours with the bands Deicide and Satyricon; during the tour, the band suffered some problems with the lineup and with the former record company; that’s when bassist Novy and guitarist Havok came in.
The next album is called “Thelema 6” on the new album, the band innovated much more than the old albums: more technical guitars, increasingly brutal drums and magnificent composition. The album was the band’s first officially released in Russia and Brazil. The band played at several events: Wacken Open Air, With Full Force, Inferno Metal Festival, Mystic Festival, and Mind Over Matter Autumn. They also played with the bands Carpathian Forest and Khold, followed by the Polish Thrash event at All Fest, with Vader and Krisiun, among others.
In August 2010, the band cancelled all future performances after their lead singer was hospitalized with a previously undisclosed illness. Still, in August, it was revealed that Nergal was suffering from a type of leukaemia. In the same year, in December, Nergal underwent bone marrow surgery. Currently, Nergal has recovered and has no sequelae from the treatment.
At the end of 2011, the band declared a new tour.
At the end of 2012, Nergal announced in an interview with the SkullsNBones website that the new album would be recorded in February 2013 and released in the fall of the same year. Therefore, the band’s most recent album was released on February 3, 2014, titled ‘The Satanist’.
After the album’s release, the band went on a world tour entitled “The Satanist 2014”.
The group released a new album entitled I Loved You At Your Darkest (abbreviated ILYAYD) on September 28, 2018, and undertook several tours across Europe alone or as the opening act for Slipknot for the Knotfest Roadshow in the United States in 2019 and for the tour in Europe in early 2020.
During the last concert played during this tour, the group performed a cover of “A Forest” by The Cure with Niklas Kvarforth, which will be part of an EP of the same name released in May 2020. This EP includes a studio version and a live of the eponymous title, as well as two new pieces.
The band recorded a concert in an abandoned church in Poland and released it online on September 5, 2020, under the name In Absentia Dei. This concert, which was to be a unique experience, will end up being released as a live album and DVD/Blu-Ray on December 17, 2021.
At the start of 2021, Nergal stated that the song “Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha” from the last EP represents the end of the ILYAYD cycle and that the group is now focusing on a new album for 2021. Still, the coronavirus pandemic pushes these plans to 2022. Nergal then recorded a new album for his secondary project, “Me and That Man”.
At the beginning of October 2021, the group declared that it wanted to repeat the “In Absentia Dei experience” to celebrate Behemoth’s 30th anniversary. This live stream, entitled “XXX Years of Blasphemy”, was broadcast on October 31, 2021, and is divided into 3 acts (The Scorched Forest, The Path of Via Dolorosa and The Desecrated Temple) recorded in 3 different locations. The setlist spans their entire discography and even sees the live debuts of some tracks from the band’s early releases.
Currently, after several weeks of teasing, Behemoth begins touring in North America with Arch Enemy, Napalm Death and Unto Others. The tour kicks off on April 16, 2022, at the Marquee Theater, Tempe, AZ, USA and sees Behemoth perform “Ov My Herculean Exile” for the first time, the first single from the upcoming album. The single is officially released on May 11 with a music video. The same day, the release date of “Opvs Contra Natvram” was announced, scheduled for September 16, 2022, as well as the album’s tracklist.
1995 : Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)
1996 : Grom
1998 : Pandemonic Incantations
1999 : Satanica
2000 : Thelema.6
2002 : Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)
2004 : Demigod
2007 : The Apostasy
2009 : Evangelion
2014 : The Satanist
2018 : I Loved You at Your Darkest
2022 : Opvs Contra Natvram