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Behemoth Kick Off A Loud North America Tour in Philadelphia

The Polish black/death metal veterans were at their ear-splitting best on the first stop of their Blasfemia Amerika tour

Anurag Tagat Apr 25, 2016
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Behemoth frontman Nergal live in Philadelphia.

Behemoth frontman Nergal live in Philadelphia.

At the modestly-sized Theater of the Living Arts [TLA] in Philadelphia, Poland metallers Behemoth decided to launch their Blasfemia Amerika tour, raising hell on earth to a full house of about 500 attendees.

One of Europe’s most formidable metal exports for their mix of black and death metal, Behemoth brought with them an equally impressive new force from the region ”“ Danish goth/black metal artist Myrkur. Led by singer Amalie Bruun, Myrkur has quickly gained reputation [some ill, among black metal fans who alleged she didn’t actually write her own music] for her haunting, folk-inspired stories. Of course, knowing boneheaded American metal fans, the first thing Bruun hears even before she gets to play a note is a shout from the crowd that goes, “You’re hot!” 

Bruun and her band, full with blistering guitars and thunderous bass and drums, proves there’s much more to her than just on-stage charisma. With her mastery over guitars and keys, Myrkur’s material from her recently released album M traverses through melancholy, terror and pain. The ethereal soundscapes on songs such as “Skaði” and “Hævnen” often turn grotesque as Bruun switches between two mics strung up on a branch-like stand, growling into one and crooning into another when you least expect it. 

Behemoth live in Philadelphia as part of their Blasfemia Amerika tour

Behemoth live in Philadelphia as part of their Blasfemia Amerika tour

The masters of spectral appearances, however, are Behemoth. With a strong emphasis on theatrics ”“ props brought on stage between songs ranging from an inverted cross to frontman Nergal aka Adam Darski scattering an “offering” from a goblet into a sea of outstretched arms ”“ Behemoth performed from their 2014 album The Satanist. 

Dressed in tattered black, the band moved on and off stage without a trace, sometimes taking position behind visual projection screens next to drummer Inferno aka Zbigniew Prominski as they raised their guitars skyward at every peak. Bassist Orion aka Tomasz Wroblewski and guitarist Seth aka Patryk Sztyber moved around and shred like beasts through The Satanist in its nine-track entirety, from the ear-splitting opening “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” to “Amen” and the somewhat friendlier, melodic “Ben Sahar.” 

Nergal, who has had his time in the limelight for both unwanted [he battled leukemia in 2010] and necessary [he’s currently working on his solo folk project], came across a born rockstar at the TLA. There’s as much theatricality to Behemoth as there is musicianship, and Nergal is testament to that. Between all the outfit and mask changes, he pulls together a commanding presence. He had the crowd at his fingers when he had a brief but passionate monolog about their music, saying, “No fucking way we’ll compromise on our art” as they launched into their seminal song “Conquer All” off 2004’s Demigod. With nine more shows to knock out of the way in the U.S. and Canada, that kind of sentiment is the most metal thing Behemoth can promise their fans. 


Also See  Hear Kolkata Singer-Songwriter Raj Goon’s Spirited EP ‘It’s Never Too Late’

Behemoth Setlist

1. “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”
2. “Furor Divinus”
3. “Messe Noire”
4. “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”
5. “Amen”
6. “The Satanist”
7. “Ben Sahar”
8. “In the Absence ov Light”
9. “Father O Satan O Sun!”
10. “Pure Evil and Hate”
11. “Antichristian Phenomenon”
12. “Conquer All”
13. “At the Left Hand ov God”
14. “Chant for Eschaton 2000”

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