BEHEMOTH – 3-Headed Beast, Washed Out In Philly!
July 25, 2017, a year ago
It was supposed to be a special day. The Poles part of a sacrilegious trinity, alongside Slayer and Lamb Of God in the parking lot of the Electric Factory (one of the city's normal concert facilities). The event was sold out in advance, with banquet tents, food trucks and outdoors beer stalls in the adjoining parking area. However, a torrential rain, for most of the evening, put a damper on things. Far from the typical opening band (frontman/guitarist Nergal has been at this for more than 25 years), but new to many, ironically, many Slayer fans weren't more accepting of a man who has fought & defeated both death (cancer) and the Catholic Church, two hallmarks of Slayer's lyrical canon.
One fan telling me, "(Nergal) looks funny." Live and learn! Behemoth hit them with a mix of the "newer" material (including the opening "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer"), but they've only had two studio albums since 2009. "Conquer All" was brutal as ever, Nergal is never content to stay put, frenetic in his movements to all corners of the stage. It was not quite twilight, but thickening gray skies did make the strobes effective. While the stage was black, the pre-recorded intro for eventually blue/green lit "Messe Noire" commenced. "Alas, Lord Is Upon Me" gives way to the over-way-too-quickly "Decade Of Therion". Most of it was delivered from behind the double snake podium, as a blitzkrieg of crisscrossing lights lay tracer fire for the aural destruction coming just as rapidly. There are a few crowd surfers, but nothing like what's to come. The rhythmic "Chant For Eschaton 2000" sees the cowl and tatters wearing mainman (what, from afar, appears to be a string of beads around his neck are actually miniature skulls) winning over some converts, getting them to voice their approval. Tough crowd to ameliorate. Must be some of that old black magic!