Chicago Open Air Spotlight: BEHEMOTH

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*Every Tuesday and Thursday from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*

Today’s artist is Behemoth.

On Sunday, July 16th, Chicago Open Air gets a taste of one of the world’s most acclaimed black metal bands, Behemoth. Since forming in 1991, the Polish black/death metal band has been known for their polarizing, intense live shows that sweep the crowd off of their feet. Typically meant for playing in the dark for the atmosphere, it will be interesting to see how Behemoth adjusts to bringing their full power into the sun. They are hitting the road here in the US with Lamb of God and Slayer so they definitely are not to be taken lightly. They are also one of the few bands that still put a great amount of thought into their music videos. Videos like “Ben Sahar”, “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”, and “At The Left Hand Ov God” contain very vivid imagery rather than only showing the band performing like most bands do now. Some people may be turned away from them because of the satanic content but I encourage you to give them a chance live. I know several people that did not appreciate them until watching one of their incredible live shows.

Behemoth at Rock Hard Festival

The quartet didn’t really begin to rise to fame here in the states until the early 2000s. They had already released five albums by the time they were really getting noticed over here. Their fourth record ‘Satanica’ was released in 1999 and contains what has always been one of their go-to closers for their sets in “Chant for Eschaton 2000”. ‘Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond) was released in 2002 and caught the attention of many with devastating riffs from Nergal like on “As Above So Below” and incredibly fast drumming from the talented Inferno in tracks like “Horns Ov Baphomet”. This record brought Behemoth over here to North America in 2003 for their first ever tour in the United States. Amon Amarth (also on Chicago Open Air!) even played on a few of those shows with them. ‘Demigod’ followed ZKC and featured the debut of new members Seth on guitar and Orion on bass. This completes the current lineup of the band now. That is pretty impressive considering that the record was released in 2004. Songs like “Conquer All” and “Slaves Shall Serve” proved Behemoth was here to stay for several more years with the searing brutality that they brought to the masses. ‘The Apostasy’  featured killer tracks like “At The Left Hand Ov God” and “Inner Sanctum” and includes the drumming performance of a lifetime from Inferno that still blows my mind to this day. Following that record, Behemoth set out to release their first record ever via Metal Blade (USA) and Nuclear Blast (Europe). ‘Evangelion’ dropped in 2009 and would unknowingly be the last Behemoth record we would get for nearly half a decade. Vocalist and guitarist Adam “Nergal” Darski was diagnosed with with extremely advanced leukemia that the doctors said was incurable. A bone marrow transplant was successfully made a few months later and he took time to regroup. Work began on the next record in 2012 but it did not surface until 2014. I was actually going to catch Behemoth at Mayhem Festival in 2013 with artists like Battlecross, Mastodon, and Machine Head until they had to cancel. Inferno needed his appendix removed so they had to take time to recover. A year later, Behemoth released, in my opinion, their magnum opus. ‘The Satanist’ changed the black metal genre landscape with going down unexplored paths of the genre and never looking back. It is a record that demands to be listed to front to back to get the full experience. The majority of their set list comes from this record so I recommend getting familiar with it. Each of their records released in the 2000s are argued about by die-hard fans over which is the best. Their catalogue runs deep with several fantastic songs so it’s understandable. They are beginning work on their next record right now so be on the lookout for an announcement in the coming months. This show has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to finally see these guys. Buy your Chicago Open Air tickets to see Behemoth here. Make sure to follow the band on Facebook for updates on upcoming news on music and tours. Also be sure to follow the festival on Facebook for updates on the set times for the bands and other experiences.

Behemoth is:
Nergal – Vocals, Guitar
Inferno – Drums
Orion – Bass
Seth – Guitars

Behemoth Summer North American Tour Dates
07/12 Bemidji, MN – Sanford Center *
07/13 Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze #
07/14 Sioux Falls, SD – Icon Lounge #
07/16 Bridgeview, IL – Chicago Open Air (Toyota Park)
07/17 Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live %
07/18 Columbus, OH – Express Live! *
07/19 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom #
07/20 Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater *
07/21 St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheater *
07/23 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory *
07/24 Montreal, QC – M Telus %
07/25 Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavillion *
07/27 New York, NY – The Theater at Madison Square Garden *
07/28 Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavillion *
07/30 Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium *
07/31 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant %
08/01 Bonner Springs, KS – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater *
08/02 Broomfield, CO – 1st Bank Center *
08/04 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint *
08/05 Inglewood, CA – The Forum *
08/09 San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium *
08/11 Eugene, OR – The Cuthbert Amphitheater *
08/12 Seattle, WA – WaMu Theather *
08/14 Dawson Creek, BC – Encana Events Center *
08/15 Fort McMurray – SMS Equipment Stadium at Shell Place *
08/17 Bonner, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater *
08/18 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex %
08/19 Albuquerque, NM – Islera Amphitheater *
08/19 Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre *

* = w/ Lamb of God and Slayer
% = w/ Lamb of God
# = Headline Show

About Low Gain

I'm just a teenager, living in Southern Illinois, that loves music in general. I love attending festivals as it feels like everyone comes together as a giant family. I also look forward to hearing new music and passing it onto the masses. In my free time I play guitar, basketball, and attend high school.
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