Nergal was the Mesopotamian god of death, pestilence and plague, as well as the Lord of the Underworld. As the band make a theatrical entrance to Ora Pro Nobis ( Latin for Pray for Us) it as if the embodiment of the Lord of the Underworld stands before us. He cuts an intimidating, yet somewhat captivating figure as he draws you in with his hypnotic gaze.
Powering through Malaria Vulgata, Conquer All and Deathless Sun the band barely pause to take a break, their sound synergistic, each note and each vocal played to absolute perfection. Commanding the crowd of whom he has lovingly dubbed as cunts and mother fuckers, Nergal stands at the center of it all completely in command. He constantly stops to encourage the crowd, raising his arms in the air to rally the audience into a frenzied state.
The mosh pit is modest yet energetic as the sold out crowd revel in the sounds of Once Upon A Pale Horse, followed by Daimonos and Versus Christus where Nergal draped in robes takes out a Holy Bible, and in a somewhat sacrificial moment begins to rip out the pages and unceremoniously throws it into the crowd. This ceremonious act saw him stand trial in Poland for blasphemy, but this crowd tonight cheer him on and drink in every moment. It is all part of the theatrics, the sheer entertainment and the enigma that is Behemoth.
For a black metal band that has had a career spanning almost three decades, it is easy to see why the band has such a big following. This isn’t just a show, it’s theatrics and it is fucking entertaining. As the band finish up with a Chant for Ezkaton followed by Ojcze Nasz to wrap up what has been an enthralling evening of theatrics, enticing music and a really fucking good time (cunts).
Words and images by Amanda Lee Starkey