To describe an evening where five Death Metal bands take over a venue like B.B. Kings you can simply put it in the following terms - "Brutal", "Energetic" and "Fast-Paced". I think you might have to fit "evil" in there somewhere but I am not overall certain.
This was the setting for the night when Ken Pierce attended the performance of Behemoth, reigning Death Metal Lords from Poland, as well as headliners Suffocation, at New York's BB Kings Club. Read on for the complete review!
Behemoth was the direct opener for the one and only Suffocation from Long Island NY. Above all the rest on the bill, the crowd was clearly there for those two titans. At careful study it seemed just as many if not more were there for Behemoth. Sporting Corpsepaint, the guys in Behemoth make quite a statement. There is a sense of command when they are on stage, and while the music is blistering fast, there is a skill in it, and a tightness that one seldom finds easily in Death Metal music. It is not as all over the road as some of their peers, and the level of musicianship is kicked up a notch. One can imagine that Behemoth is to Death Metal what Dimmu Borgir is to Black Metal. Master players performing to their best for the fans.
I was lucky enough (or stupid enough - you decide) to get close for some shots of their performance. The group arrived to tremendous response and had set up two large banners depicting the cover art for their latest, Demigod, and this is the CD that most tracks would come from. Having just received the list, I checked with fans around me to discover the set list running like this in no certain order- Decade of Therion, As Above So Below, Christians to the Lions, Sculpting the Throne ov Seth, Demigod, Conquer All, and Chant for Eschaton 2000. I was particularly impressed with drummer Inferno. He is a master of the double-bass drums, and I compared him to the likes of Dave Lombardo of Slayer. Singer Nergal had the audience in his thrawl as he wailed on each song, causing scattered moments of moshing and dancing in the crowd, which I was able to thankfully avoid that area of the fray.
The evening was kicked off by Devil Inside, Misery Index & Cattle Decapitation. While each band achieved what they set out to do for their set, I have to give props to Cattle Decapitation for having a very powerful drummer behind them. However, I am not much a fan of Grind Core which seems to be what that band plays, lots of chaos on the stage from screaming high-pitched vocals to guttural growls. Some people love it, me it just does not achieve much unfortunately. Suffocation came on as the main band, and were tight as well, but in my opinion it was a difficult followup to Behemoth. I felt there was more showmanship to them as opposed to a band playing. Granted they had the audience's allegiance, but I was there for Behemoth and everything else was just more of a concert to enjoy.
Behemoth Official Site: www.behemoth.pl