ALBUM REVIEW: Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram


Attempting to improve on 2014’s The Satanist (review here) was always going to be a near impossible task but with I Loved You At Your Darkest (review here), Polish blackened death metal act Behemoth very nearly succeeded. A robust and forward-thinking follow-up held in high regard by many, the only thing which appeared to hold it back for some was the enormous shadow cast by its predecessor.

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Behemoth – Myrkur: Live At Royale, Boston

behemoth and myrkur tour 016 ghostcultmag

Here at Ghost Cult Magazine, we all vote on our favorite albums each year. Just a couple short years ago, Behemoth had won with one of their best to date, The Satanist (Nuclear Blast). On April, 24th, 2016, I and the rest of the Boston crowd at the Royale were able to see Behemoth play this masterpiece from front to back at the “Blasfemia Amerika Tour”. Simply mentioning “it was an experience” just simply will not do.

Myrkur, by Hillarie Jason

Myrkur, by Hillarie Jason


Myrkur, by Hillarie Jason

Myrkur, by Hillarie Jason

Before getting to Behemoth’s set, we did have an opening band to get us started. The one woman black metal project, Myrkur, hit the stage ready to kickoff what promised to be a great night. Amalie Bruun is the only contributing artist to the project, but she did obviously have some help with a few other musicians (guitarist, bassist, and drummer). One of the strangest moments of the set is when I realized the bassist was no+ne other than Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan! The set list was comprised of mostly tracks from the one full length album, M (Relapse), that Myrkur have to offer. Song by song, Amalie moved from guitar to keyboards and from one microphone to the other as her vocals would change mid song from clean to harsh. Finally, Myrkur ended the set with Amalie alone on stage at the keyboard performing a Bathory cover of ‘Song to Hall Up High’ to the fan’s praise.


Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason

Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason

Finally, after a short break, Behemoth hit the stage with the sounds of ‘Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel’. With each passing song on The Satanist, there were strange videos being played on either side of drummer, Inferno, to really set the mood. At one point in the show, frontman Nergal made his way over a makeshift bridge of sorts from the stage, over the photographers’ pit, and literally into the first row or so of fans. In his hand was a silver goblet, filled with offerings to the fans, his own Holy Communion waffers! The final few in the goblet were lifted above our heads as Nergal crushed them into pieces and threw them into the air in defiance. After the ever epic, ‘O Father! O Satan! O Sun!’, the band made their way to the back briefly but then returned for a second shorter set that kicked off with old classics ‘Pure Evil and Hate’ and ‘Antichristian Phenomenon’. Other hits such as ‘Conquer All’ and ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ were also played to the fans’ delight. But, like all good things, the show came to an end with closer ‘Chant for Eschaton 2000’, complete with projectile blood shots on to the front row from Nergal, Orion, and Seth. With this live show, Behemoth has once again proven why they are atop the metaphorical pedestal of extreme music and have no plans of letting any other bands share that space.

Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason

Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason


Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason

Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason


Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason

Behemoth, by Hillarie Jason

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Cannibal Corpse – Behemoth – Aeon – Tribulation: Live At The House of Blues

Cannibal-Behemoth US Tour

After New England has taken the beating of a lifetime from Mother Nature this winter in the form of tons of snow, and frigid temps, it was good to feel the warmth of a venue again. This night was not just poised to be a memorable metal concert, but it was my two-year anniversary with my girlfriend Tara. Keep your flowers and candy; I can’t think of anything more romantic than a night of top-shelf death metal, gore and blasphemy, and my beloved agrees, so off we went to Boston for the show.

I had access to the House of Blues Foundation Room for me and lady on this night. I had some preconceived notions about what the experience was going to be like: corporate and sterile. I could not be more wrong about the unassuming, funky Indian-themed environment. I had a blast and would do it again.

Tribulation opened the show and they were killer. It seems like the band is poised for bigger things here in the US and it was great to see so many fans in the venue super into them. Maybe it’s because Johannes Anderson kind of looks like Evan Peters from American Horror Story. No, that’s not it. They played an awesome set of a few favorites and one new song from their forthcoming album Children of the Night, dropping in May from Century Media.


Aeon just flat out destroyed! From the first note to the last they just brutalized the audience to death musically. They were the “aha” band for many when this tour was announced, some fans I know claiming they would leaved after the heavy Swedes were done exsanguinating us all. In the mean time this band keeps killing it big time year after year. They played a brilliant, if too brief for me set with happy little tunes such as ‘Satanic Victory’, ‘Living Sin’, ‘God Gives Head In Heaven’ and ‘Forever Nailed’. I caught up with Tommy Dahlstrom backstage for a quick interview between bands and he said he’d never been happier with a tour. You could tell from their performance it was true.


Behemoth was next and I thought right off the bat it would be hard for them to live up to their performance for last spring. In my mind that was as flawless a performance as I might ever see in Death Metal, and I have seen some great ones. Well they certainly came close again tonight. On the even bigger stage of the House of Blues, Nergal and his comrades in Behemoth certainly seemed like larger than life heroes. Milking every ounce of energy and adulation the audience could give, Nergal cajoled cheers and demanded attention with every dramatic arm movement and pose. With the set list now comprising at least half of 2013’s The Satanist (Nuclear Blast) plus the “hits”, it would be nice to hear the band play more from their classic, 90s material. But alas, I doubt we will hear too much of those songs in the future, which is a shame. Still, if the show had ended here I wouldn’t have complained.


Nearly any other band would have been hard pressed to follow the performance just witnessed. Cannibal Corpse does live what they have done every step of their career: play technical death metal with effortless mastery. After 25 years it says a lot that they can play a brutal set of 14 tracks and, still leave you wanting more. Newer cuts like ‘Evisceration Plague’ and ‘Kill or Become’ flow perfectly with ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ and ‘The Wretched Spawn’. The pits were consistently awesome for the Corpse, as opposed to Behemoth, but that is likely due to the up and down tempos of the co-headliners. Although I have seen the band countless times, they never fail to amazing with putting on a great set. Corpsegrinder was hilarious as always with his in between song banter, allowing him to be the foil, while his bandmates focus on playing. They continue to be the gold-standard of all death metal band and arguably the best ever.


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STAFF PICKS 2014: Bella Vendetta Picks Her Album Of The Year

Vesania-DeusExMachina (2)

I know, I know, I wrote about My favorite show of 2014 and it was King Diamond, and now I’m going to write about My favorite album and I’m realizing it’s also a Metalblade records. Maybe I should just write “How Metal Blade records ruled My metal world in 2014”. A lot of damn fine records came out. Obviously we all know how excellent Behemoth’s The Satanist is. It’s so good even mainstream media around the globe is taking notice. Since My Behemoth collection is pretty well rounded and I felt obligated to get it. I almost wanted to dislike it because I knew how much everyone hated it…but I found Myself falling in love and playing it over and over again in spite of Myself.

The news I had looked forward to the most though was that Metal Blade records had also signed Vesania, a symphonic black metal super-group with roots firmly planted in Poland. The group is fronted by Orion, bassist of Behemoth (damn did this guy have a great year or what?) Though Orion fronts the band he never really steals the show because every member of Vesania is a superstar in their own right. Vesania also boasts current and former members of Dimmu Borgir, Vader and Decapitated. The band has been together and performing (never in America of course) for over a decade and now has three albums to show for it. I have fond memories of driving around in the harsh New England winter blasting 2007’s Distractive Killusions on the car stereo wondering if I’d ever get the chance to see Vesania live. I’ve always hoped for a new album and even asked vocalist Orion about it in a 2010 interview I did with him for Burning Angel.

So when the band announced that they’d be releasing a new album with Metal Blade records in 2014 I was excited. Like, pre-order as soon as possible excited.

And the album titled Deus Ex Machina did not disappoint Me in the least. I don’t think there’s one particular sound for this album, but rather a marriage of many different styles and elements. Symphonic black metal is a term you hear used over and over with this band, and that’s pretty accurate I suppose. To Me it’s adventure music, it’s soundtrack music, it’s almost video game music that makes you feel as if you are on an epic metal journey where magical things are possible. When I first heard it I thought it made Me want to stomp around a fire and take My clothes off. It’s almost confusing, in the best way possible. Each track is different enough, and some tracks even change so drastically mid song that it keeps you guessing, and wanting to hear what will come next. Whether or not it can be categorized, it makes you FEEL something, and that is no small feat in 2014.

My new year’s resolution is to see Vesania live, make My dreams come true Metal Blade Records!

Check out Vesania’s official links here: