Few extreme metal bands are surrounded by as much controversy as Behemoth, who play Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Saturday, May 5. Together with their tour mates Watain, The Devil’s Blood and In Solitude, concert goers should expect an evening of fire, brimstone and rock and roll.
In their home country of Poland, Behemoth has gained a reputation of pissing off religious groups. In 2010, Behemoth lead singer Nergal (Adam Darski) faced a possible prison sentence for a 2007 concert incident in which he ripped pages from the bible and accused the Roman Catholic Church of being a murderous cult. The act of offending the RCC is a crime in that country. Although the courts later cleared Darski of any wrong doing, saying his act was a work of artist expression, controversy remained. Later, pressure from the Polish Catholic church caused a television network to dismiss Nergal as one of the judges on that country’s version of the talent show The Voice.
|The Devil’s Blood|
Nergal’s reaction to the banning was somewhat comical:”… WOW! We are facing a legendary moment: Amerika, the land of the free, is banning Behemoth coz of religious beliefs. The madness starts in Ohio, but of korz we are playing anyway. Nothing can stop us now. God, please save me from this freedom.”
Behemoth was not the only group on this tour to face difficulties. Watain’s visas were delayed, and they were not in the US in time to perform for the first five shows of the tour. Some of those cities are being rescheduled, so if you are follower of the Watain “ritual,” then you should be checking their Facebook pages for updates about when those will occur. The Devil’s Blood reported on their Facebook page that after their show in San Antonio, their driver ran off with some of their money. And In Solitude has reportedly had some travelling woes as well.
No matter, come this Saturday all should come together for one “hell” of a show. And that is hell in the literal since, as the groups on this lineup all espouse, to one degree or another, anti-religous or satanic view points. What does that have to do with the music? Nothing, in my opinion, but not everyone would agree.
This tour is actually quite diverse. Behemoth plays crushing death metal with Nergal’s aggressive vocals and pounding memorable riffs. Watain’s music is a bit more guitar driven with complex melodies that rely heavily on the flatted fifth, aka The Devil’s Interval. The Devil’s Blood sound something like a cross between the Jefferson Airplane and Coven, that is, strong psychedelic tunes with a bold female vocal. In Solitude is a straight up rock and roll band with a heavy nod to Blue Oyster Cult , Black Sabbath and even Kiss.
Attendees should be advised that Watain (when permitted) use rotting animal carcasses and blood in their performance. The smell can be overwhelming, though, like any smell you continue to inhale, you stop smelling it after a bit. The Devil’s Blood also uses blood in there performance. Candles will light the stage for much of this show. Overall, the evening should be one of intense aural, visual and olfactory stimulation.