BEHEMOTH have always pushed the limits of their abilities and defied the boundaries of death and black metal. Now, the Polish metal kings have returned with a new offering, The Apostasy, which is destined to become both the defining release of the band’s career and one of the most revered and dynamic offerings the genre has seen in years. The Apostasy’s basic meaning is “to go against religion,” and with Poland being one of the top religious countries in the world, BEHEMOTH strives to convey that being religious is not the key to happiness. This album takes everything to the next level, as Nergal (guitars, vocals) promises “more speed, aggression and blasphemy than ever before.” The Apostasy is easily the group’s most ambitious and epic offering yet and was recorded in the band’s hometown of Gdansk with Nergal and longtime sound engineer Malta in the producers’ chairs. The effort was once again mixed with the acclaimed Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, SYL) at Dugout Studios in Sweden and will be mastered by Bjorn Engelmann (Rammstein).
BEHEMOTH built their career upon their unrelenting touring schedule, performing over 325 shows worldwide in support of their 2005 release, Demigod. The group kicks off The Apostasy’s worldwide touring cycle on Ozzfest 2007 as direct support to second-stage headliners Hatebreed. This event marks BEHEMOTH’s biggest U.S. tour yet, further setting the stage for the band to become the new leaders of the genre.
Originally formed by a teenage Nergal in 1991, BEHEMOTH quickly made a name for themselves in black metal circles with four early cult albums: From The Pagan Wastelands, …And The Forests Dream Eternally, Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic) and Grom. But it wasn’t until the release of Pandemonic Incantations and the addition of Inferno (drums) that the band started to realize their true potential. Songs became catchier, where the musicianship and production vastly improved. With Satanica, BEHEMOTH started to incorporate more of a death metal approach to their songwriting. The high, raspy, black metal screeches of the first four albums were replaced with a forceful yet audible death metal growl. Two successful European tours followed with Deicide and Satyricon as the band started to amass a rabid following. In 2001, Thelema.6 was released in the U.S. Truly a landmark in the extreme metal community, Thelema.6 saw the band combining their early black metal influences with the utter viciousness and technicality of Satanica.
Now an unstoppable live force, touring opportunities with bands such as Nile and Morbid Angel began to pour in. For those who thought the band had reached their peak, nothing could prepare them for what came next. Zos Kia Cultus (Here And Beyond) was unleashed upon unsuspecting audiences in 2003. The album saw BEHEMOTH set a new standard in massive production and song craft for all others to meet, as they take a slight turn away from the more straight-ahead brutality of Thelema.6 and put more of an emphasis on groove. As rave reviews started to flow in, the group made its American live debut at the New Jersey March Metal Meltdown festival. The several extensive nationwide tours that followed (which included treks with the likes of Deicide, Amon Amarth, Halford, Testament, Superjoint Ritual, Opeth, Lacuna Coil and Six Feet Under) helped to make 2003 a breakthrough year for the band.
Demigod was the next logical progression of the band’s already colossal sound. The songs took on an even more aggressive feel this time around, with more traditional metal song structures and slightly more melodic lead work. In an effort to match the grandness of the composition, a professional male choir was brought in to record real vocal harmonies for “Sculpting the Throne ov Seth.” A slew of major worldwide touring insanity followed with the likes of such acts as King Diamond, Suffocation, Danzig, Morbid Angel, Chimaira and The Black Dahlia Murder, helping the group to more than solidify themselves as one of the genre’s most exciting new artists. The touring campaign for Demigod was ultimately capped off with an appearance on 2006’s Sounds of The Underground tour alongside As I Lay Dying, In Flames and Trivium where BEHEMOTH quickly became the most talked about act due to their vicious and unrelenting live show, which immediately garnered them a whole new legion of devoted fans.
While most bands struggle to evolve and stay vital within the extreme music genre, BEHEMOTH manages to do so effortlessly. The Apostasy is destined to continue the legacy.