In the “special guest” slot to Twisted Sister on the Friday evening are controversial Polish blackened death metal demigods Behemoth. This will be my fourth time seeing the band, and my second time at Bloodstock.
They belatedly played the festival in 2012, originally they should have graced the main stage in 2010 but were forced to pull out when frontman Nergal was diagnosed with leukaemia. When they eventually did play they headlined the main stage and they were absolutely devastating. If it was an indoor gathering it wound have been an open air version after the proverbial roof was ripped off. One of the best performances I’ve seen over my 17 visits to the festival – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t necessarily like black metal.
Formed in the industrial city of Gdańsk in 1991 I didn’t pick up on the band until 2009 when I head Ov Fire And The Void taken from the Evangelion release, their ninth album. Moving a few steps sideways from black metal to a much more death metal sound, for me, the release became that bit more palatable.
A bug bear with this festival is the repeat acts. On the Friday alone at least four of the nine bands have played the festival at least once, and as stated earlier Behemoth are one of those. But at least this time they are doing something a bit more unique and playing last album The Satanist in its entirety, a thing that hasn’t occurred on the shores before. I have seen a few people moaning that they are playing their “overrated” album, how they come to that conclusion I don’t really know. I’m no black metal aficionado so I’m not in a position to compare this to the best of Immortal, Emperor, Darkthrone or Dissection, but to me The Satanist is a great example of extreme metal.
I was going to post the video to the aforementioned Ov Fire And The Void, but as they are playing The Satanist in full (and there are more videos for the album than I imagined) here’s the title track to the album.