Nergal talks about getting death threats for evolving BEHEMOTH's style
'You shouldn't be doing this so we're going to execute you.'
Nergal recently recalled how he’d receive “death threats” once Behemoth started changing its style, noting how evolving one’s art is all but inevitable for artists that started out very young.
As much as black metal is famed for its dedication to artistic integrity and reinventing the raw heaviness of metal many times over, this subgenre has also attracted more than its share of hate-filled, gate-keeping bigots.
With that in mind, it’s sadly no wonder that Nergal started receiving death threats from Polish National Socialist – i.e. Nazi – black metal “fans” for putting a “wrong” image on an album cover. Speaking to Metal Injection in a recent interview, the Behemoth frontman recalls it went as far as having armed individuals invade his living space once Behemoth departed from its strict black metal roots in the ’90s:
“I remember getting death threats back in the day for changing my style and for putting a ‘wrong’ image on the cover, and I mean it. I had fucking people invading my room with a gun, and (this did) happen in the ’90s when I supposedly… it was a sacrilege for some (National Socialist black metal) people or whatever who were not friends of mine, who thought ‘You shouldn’t be doing this so we’re going to execute you.’
“Well they didn’t. I’m still around and I’m still a pain in the ass. Things like that did happen because I was evolving.”
As someone who started out at a very young age, Nergal says how evolving past his music roots is only natural:
“When I started Behemoth I was (either 15 or 16 years old). So I see a 15 year old or a 16 year old (now) and I’m like ‘Holy shit, it’s a baby. It’s a walking fucking toddler with his laptop and his video game’ and I was writing lyrics about something I wasn’t aware of. I was so naïve and inexperienced, and I was aiming for something out of my (league) or abilities, you know? I was young (young). What do you know when you’re 17 (years old?) You’re just a piece of shit and you know nothing, basically.”
Nergal goes on to note how some of the aforementioned groups of Polish black metal “fans” kept “lists” of enemies. For the Behemoth frontman, charting as high as possible on such lists was a matter of pride:
“I always wanted to be number one (on the list), and at least once I was. So they accused me of changing styles, but then at the same time those guys were the biggest Bathory worshippers.
“That should make you think. It always made me think ‘Why are they after me? Why are they not after Quorthorn?’ Every record was fucking (different)… no one had problems with that because it was sacred to them.”
BEHEMOTH’s leader and artistic alchemist Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski comments:
“Legions! We have gathered atop Poland’s infamous Palace of Culture to perform four brand new tracks from our record ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’, released this Friday!
“For a long time, BEHEMOTH have been censored and pursued by the Catholic Church at the behest of our fascist government. This performance, with the backdrop of this building, represents a monumentous middle finger to those pigs and another for Joseph Stalin and his Soviet circle jerk. Viva Freedom!“
“Opvs Contra Natvram” arrived on September 16 via Nuclear Blast. As with previous studio outings, “Opvs…” was produced by BEHEMOTH, with mixing handled by acclaimed studio legend Joe Barresi (NINE INCH NAILS, TOOL, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, ALICE IN CHAINS).
Renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and absolute creative control of BEHEMOTH’s world, Nergal reveled in the depressurized environment afforded by the pandemic. It meant that for nearly the first time since the band’s inception over 30 years ago there was no deadline to observe, allowing for a nearly unprecedented level of attention to the process of writing and recording.
“Opvs Contra Natvram” features twin cover art available in both black and white and will be released in an array of physical formats designed by Bartek Rogalewicz (Lodge.Black),certain to thrill collectors of limited editions.
Watch “Thy Becoming Eternal” below.
Also watch “The Deathless Sun” official video and the performance video below.
Also watch the previously released video for ‘Off To War!’ and “Ov My Herculean Exile” below.
Pre-order or pre-save the album AT THIS LOCATION.
As with previous studio outings, Opvs… was produced by BEHEMOTH, with mixing handled by acclaimed studio legend Joe Barresi (Nine Inch Nails, Tool, QOTSA, Alice in Chains).
“The album title means going against the current,” BEHEMOTH frontman Nergal states. “It’s the negative of the values and morals and ethics that I stand against. I’ve seriously been wrestling with destructive tendencies in pop culture — cancel culture, social media, and tools which I feel are very dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are not competent to judge others. That’s something which I find very destructive and disturbing — and extremely limiting coming from an artists’ perspective. This is my middle finger to that. There’s a song on the record called ‘Neo-Spartacvs.’ Spartacus was one of the most iconic rebels in history who went against the most powerful empire of all time. In the end, it’s me screaming, ‘I Am Spartacus, and so are you!’ I want to spark that flame of rebellion. If something seems wrong then stand up to it!”
Opvs Contra Natvram features twin cover art available in both black and white and will be released in the following array of physical formats designed by Bartek Rogalewicz (Lodge.Black), certain to thrill collectors of limited editions:
Jewelcase CD (Black Cover)
Digibook (Black Cover) (limited to 8500 pieces)
Digibook (White Cover) (limited to 8500 pieces)
Earbook Black/Gold Inkspot Vinyl (White Cover) (limited to 500 pieces)
Earbook Gold/Black Corona Vinyl (White Cover) (limited to 500 pieces)
Black Vinyl (Black Cover)
Picture Vinyl (Black Cover) (limited to 3500 pieces)
White/Gold Split Vinyl (White Cover) (limited to 650 pieces)
Vinylbox Mailorder Edition (White Cover) (limited to 1000 pieces)
Earbook (Black Cover) (band exclusive, limited to 1167 pieces)
Gold Vinyl (Black Cover) (US Indie exclusive, limited to 350 pieces)
Crystal Clear/Silver/Gold Inkspot Vinyl (White Cover) (band exclusive, limited to 666 pieces)
White/Black/Gold Splatter Vinyl (White Cover) (band exclusive, limited to 1167 pieces)
Transparent Red Vinyl (Black Cover) (EMP exclusive, limited to 300 pieces)
White Vinyl (White Cover) (Nordics exclusive, limited to 300 pieces)
Clear/Black Splatter Vinyl (Black Cover) (Kings Road Management exclusive, limited to 500 pieces)
Gold/Black Marbled Vinyl (Black Cover) (UK Eyesore exclusive, limited to 300 pieces)
White/Gold Marbled Vinyl (White Cover) (UK Recordstore exclusive, limited to 300 pieces)
Clear/Black Marbled Vinyl (Black Cover) (HMV exclusive, limited to 450 exclusive)
The tracklist reads as follows:
The Deathless Sun
Ov My Herculean Exile
Off To War!
Once Upon A Pale Horse
Thy Becoming Eternal
BEHEMOTH, ARCH ENEMY + CARCASS + UNTO OTHERS
The European Siege Tour
27.09. UK Dublin – 3Olympia Theatre
29.09. UK Glasgow – O2 Academy
30.09. UK Manchester – O2 Apollo
01.10. UK Birmingham – O2 Academy
02.10. UK London – O2 Academy Brixton
04.10. FR Paris – Zenith
05.10. FR Ramonville-st-agne, Le Bikini
07.10. PT Lisboa – Coliseu dos Recreios
08.10. ES Madrid – Palacio Vistalegre
09.10. ES Barcelona – Palau Sant Jordi
11.10. FR Caluire-et-cuire – Radiant-Bellevue
12.10. IT Milan – Alcatraz
14.10. DE Berlin – Columbiahalle
15.10 CZ Pardubice – Tipsport Arena
16.10. HU Budapest – Barba Negra