Behemoth, Evangelion from Poland

After Vader comes Behemoth. Black metal from Poland goes well and the ninth album of the trio, "Evangelion", is taking the genre to a next level. Orion and Nergal are speaking to us about it.

What is your definition of Black Metal ? How do you see this specific genre today ?
Orion : Black metal has been defined years ago and I feel it's just inappropriate to give personal definition of it. It has always been satanic genre of metal, its darkest and most obscure form. Whats happening with black metal nowadays is just the evolution which took it to the point where we are now. We still have bands continuing this 'religious' leg of black metal. Or even newcomers fulfilling the original assumptions. And to be honest – I am a big fan of some of them, just to mention Watain, Shining or Deathspell Omega. For some people it's the only true black metal today. The success just doesnt go with the idea of it, so as soon as bands like Dimmu or us become more popular, people stop treating them as strictly black metal. It seems natural to be so.

Can you tell us more about the metal scene in Poland and the position of Behemoth in this scene ?
Orion : Metal scene in Poland is pretty strong. We have some really good bands, alongside Vader, like Azarath, Infernal war, Christ Agony and many more. And as far as I know, Polish metal style is widely recognizible... personally I wouldnt be able to describe it. Behemoth seems to stand out at this point, which makes us really satisfied. At the moment we're being the most successful band at Polish metal scene, the most talkabout I guess. On the other hand I think it gives us the highes ammount of enemies.

Can you tell me more about the recording of this new piece ? Is there a concept behind "Evangelion" ? Let us know more about the artwork ? The lyrics ?
Nergal : That’s a complex question…haha. Well, “Evangelion” was meant to be a statement. Both musically and lyrically. The recording of the album went pretty smooth and we actually ha d a lot of fun which happens very often in the studio. There was definitely a strong motivation and power behind the whole songwriting and recording process. We felt extremely determined and we wanted to redefine our style with this new opus. I’m sure we managed. All its ingredients, music, lyrics, and artwork make one whole unit. This albums talks about human, it’s autonomy, it’s freedom, it’s right to destroy and create himself itself from the scratch. It’s a very liberating concept.

It's your ninth studio album : how this album is different from your past works ?
Orion : Behemoth has been evolvin through the years... It's been what 17? 18 years I guess. Nergal established the band when he was a teenager, he was 15 as far as I remember. So the first Behemoth albums were his you know, first studio experience, came out from the first fascinations and ambitions. Getting stronger and stronger with every step, Behemoth was coming from this pagan black metal through more occult kind of thing, catching on some death metal experience and combining it with this black metal spirit. And there we are now. This last album differs from all the others. From one point of view, it comes back to some topics and having us more aware of what we're doing and more experienced as people and musicians, it takes this music to a completely new level. We've never sound that well, the arrangements has never been that multilayered and still agressive and uncompromising. There's more and more music at Behemoth albums if you know what i mean. We're learning to think more musically.

Do you have special tricks to record angry vocals in the studio ?
Orion : Actually we dont use tricks for that... people often speak about some pitch shifters and stuff like that... That's the effect that use occasionally, as the effect, but not constantly. Most talkabout in this matter is Demigod album – and the impression on it comes from multiple vocal tracks recorded for main vocals, there's no shifters there.... This time we've came back to something that is way more simple yet more diverse. In my personal oppinion, Nergal recorded the best vocal tracks ever at 'Evangelion'... Lots of experiments this time, and they all turned out well. If your question was about some tricks to keep the voice going – there's no tricks beside hot tea and some sweet sirup for the throat.

What is the importance of the look in your music ?
Orion : The importance of every detail of a band is pretty much the same. I think it's the wrong way to ask this question. Music itself is a music itself and obviously take care of that at the first place. But the band is also the image, graphic designs, pictures, any kind of exposure that we're getting. Being a part of Behemoth, from some specific point of view is playing some roles. The look gives us the way to outline it. If it was just the music, there would be no sense in playing live shows, or at least no sense of doing whatever else on stage than standing and playing the songs. What defines us is our every appareance and the stage is the area of the stageshow. We go out there and give to people the same energy we spread through the albums, intensified by this live energy we get from them. We wouldnt be the same band without all that.

How do you feel about going on tour in the US ?
Orion : We've just started this tour. US has always treated us well. We've came our way here, we've been through all that a band needs to go through, every lap of the cycle. We've started as a band not known to anybody and I feel we've worked hard for what we have now. This tour is an awesome event. There are bands like Slayer and Marylin Manson on it, thousands of people every day, a big issue. I really enjoy this summer tours here in the US, even if it sometimes means going on stage in full sun at the south (which is incredibly hot), wearing full gear and doing a full show. Nothing but a blast, killer time.

Interview by Dead Zone
Photo : DR

Behemoth, Evangelion (Nuclear Blast)
August 2009


Behemoth, "Ov Fire And The Void", Video