Remember when a “bone marrow” Google search would yield blackened death metal results? That was back when Nergal, the vocalist for Polish band Behemoth, was diagnosed with luekemia in August of 2010. Since then, a lot has happened – he got a bone marrow transplant, lost his hair, made a new video, crushed Poland with a few shows, and are now heading across Europe and US for two headlining tours.
Nergal stated in a recent interview, “I owe you people so much…the whole thing with us coming back to tour(s)…is I’d love to see you all there, and meet you personally, and shake hands. That’s my main goal.” Lest you think their satanic shtick is a bunch of hate; I honestly think that with the outpouring of support that Nergal and the band experienced during his illness, that he embodies both a generous nature, while at the same time delivering an aggressive, crushing black/death metal force to fans. I’m passionate about that dichotomy because too often metal is characterized as evil and anti-social; left for Luddites in dark caves instead of strong men and women who use it as a way to affect change in themselves and others.
Recent evidence shows that not only is Behemoth back, but their stage show is even grander than before:
In that song, “Of Fire And Void,” Nergal sings: “I pulse ov existence / The law ov nature undenied / I hold the torch ov Heraclites / So I can shake the earth and move the suns.” This is pure secular morality, personified by Nergal as he states the “pure joy” of “the here and now.” Greek mythology, coupled with the philosophy of Max Stirner, brings a powerful message to the metal community: we have to act, regardless of any exterior forces; this is “potential in action, never in inertia.”
Behemoth brings this joyful rage to the United States starting in April with fellow black-metallers Watain. I’m stoked to see a reinvigorated Nergal and company bellow and thrash as “pylons ov light.”
Photo: Heavy Blog is Heavy