The Forum, Kentish Town, London – December 9th 2014
The crowd for this show ran the length of The Forum from quite early on in the misery of the cold and rain, but no one was worried about the elements, they just wanted to see Behemoth’s mighty return to London with support from Poland’s Decapitated, Sweden’s Grand Magus and UK’s own Winterfylleth.
On early were Manchester’s WINTERFYLLETH, and it was like winter in the venue. Winterfylleth crushed through their opening slot performing dark and atmospheric black metal which has given them great respect in the current scene. Short sets and long songs are always an unfortunate combination but the crowd was left satisfied.
Second on, from the home of everything dark and heavy were Sweden’s GRAND MAGUS. Grand Magus play an upbeat metal with catchy riffs, opportunities to fist pump and plenty of sing-a-longs which the crowd gratefully accept. This is my first time seeing Grand Magus, pretty sure it won’t be my last!
Hailing also from Poland the level of extreme is raised up just a notch to boiling point with the brutally technical death metal band DECAPITATED who over many years have toured the UK headlining countless times and crushing pretty much every venue they play at and tonight was no exception. Fronted by the dreadlocked ‘Rasta’ giving the crowd a 30 minutes murderous stare, Decapitated smashed through their set in misty near darkness which sucked the crowd into a constant pit of head banging frenzy!
The anticipation of the headliners, BEHEMOTH, again from Poland was rife, whilst their roadies set the ornate microphone stands and backdrops, the crowd chant BEHEMOTH!, BEHEMOTH! After the lighting of incense on the drum kit, the lights go out to huge cheers! The band minus Nergal take the stage on their own independent podiums, fists in the air then driving them into their instruments creating a partisan atmosphere leading into the intro of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. Nergal enters screaming to the worked up crowd ‘you know the words’ and here on in the this is a relentless assault. Nergal scowls and snarls around the stage goading the crowd to take things to the next level. The spectacle of this band is something quite spectacular – between songs Negal paints a lonely figure in the centre of the stage on his knees offering himself as a sacrifice mutter words to himself whilst his band prepare for battle in their next song. These moments leave me haunting and tense feelings wondering what is going to happen next, I am completely sucked in by it all and do not want it to end. Songs from the most recent album ‘The Satanist’ are warmly welcomed, after all its reception has been fantastic taking into account the health forced hiatus due to Nergal being diagnosed with leukaemia in recent years, his return to strength has given the band a new life. After destroying The Forum with venom, Behemoth end on the merciless ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’leaving the stage cloaked and victorious.
The battle has been won, all hail Behemoth!