BEHEMOTH, the high priests of extreme metal have announced their 12th studio album, Opvs Contra Natvram, their most thought-provoking and arresting collection to date, set for release on September 16th, via Nuclear Blast. The album’s first single, ‘Ov My Herculean Exile’ arrives today, alongside a cinematic official video, directed by Zuzanna Plisz.
The 10 chapters of fury that make up Opvs Contra Natvram were written and recorded over the course of a very strange year for the globe – a situation which only heightened the level of craft seen in these 43 minutes and 15 seconds of searing wrath. As with previous studio outings, Opvs… was produced by BEHEMOTH, with mixing by studio legend Joe Barresi (Nine Inch Nails, Tool, QOTSA, Alice in Chains).
Pre-order or pre-save the album here, and check out the video for ‘Ov My Herculean Exile’ below.
Renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and absolute creative control of BEHEMOTH’s world, frontman and band visionary, Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski revelled in the depressurised environment afforded by the pandemic. It meant that for nearly the first time since the band’s inception over 30 years ago, there was no deadline to observe, allowing for a nearly unprecedented level of attention to the process of writing and recording. Beyond any confines of genre, BEHEMOTH have grown to become nothing less than the personification of rebellion, individuality and unflinching self-expression informed by a literate worldview and worldliness that’s resulted in a locking of horns with everything from the mainstream press to the Polish Catholic church – most notably manifesting in Nergal’s trial for blasphemy in 2010 that only served to expose the deep-seated hypocrisies that his music seeks to challenge.
“The album title means going against the current. It’s the negative of the values and morals and ethics that I stand against. I’ve seriously been wrestling with destructive tendencies in pop culture – cancel culture, social media, and tools which I feel are very dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are not competent to judge others. That’s something which I find very destructive and disturbing – and extremely limiting coming from an artists’ perspective. This is my middle finger to that. There’s a song on the record called ‘Neo-Spartacvs’. Spartacus was one of the most iconic rebels in history who went against the most powerful empire of all time. In the end, it’s me screaming, ‘I Am Spartacus, and so are you!’ I want to spark that flame of rebellion. If something seems wrong then stand up to it!”
Album artwork: Anton ‘Strss893’ Pavsyuk
Opvs Contra Natvram tracklist:
THE DEATHLESS SUN
OV MY HERCULEAN EXILE
OFF TO WAR!
ONCE UPON A PALE HORSE
THY BECOMING ETERNAL
Opvs Contra Natvram features twin cover art available in both black and white and will be released in the following array of physical formats, certain to thrill collectors of limited editions:
Jewelcase CD (Black Cover)
Digibook (Black Cover) [limited to 8500 pieces]
Digibook (White Cover) [limited to 8500 pieces]
Earbook Black/Gold Inkspot Vinyl (White Cover) [limited to 500 pieces]
Earbook Gold/Black Corona Vinyl (White Cover) [limited to 500 pieces]
Black Vinyl (Black Cover)
Picture Vinyl (Black Cover) [limited to 3500 pieces]
White/Gold Split Vinyl (White Cover) [limited to 650 pieces]
Vinylbox Mailorder Edition (White Cover) [limited to 1000 pieces]
Earbook (Black Cover) [band exclusive, limited to 1167 pieces]
BEHEMOTH’s North American Siege tour, with touring mates Arch Enemy, Carcass, and Unto Others is currently thundering across the USA. The European leg rolls into Dublin, Ireland on September 27th, ready to set the continent ablaze and culminates at Oslo, Norway’s Sentrum Scene on November 6th. Prior to that, the band will bring their spectacular live show to a number of Summer festivals, including a Friday night headline slot at Bloodstock in the UK. Full itinerary and tour trailer below.
Nergal informs the band’s ‘Legions’;
“BEHEMOTH are coming with new music and new stage shenanigans…a spectacle worth waiting for. We’ll see you there!”
BEHEMOTH EU Summer Festivals
24.06. DE Hockenheim – Hockenheimring – Download Germany
UK tour tickets are available here, with Dublin tickets here. Tickets for their Bloodstock Festival Friday night headline set are available here.
In the annals of metal there is no band more synonymous with an unswerving commitment to the single-minded defiance of expectation than BEHEMOTH. Over the course of their remarkable 31-year career, these Polish hellraisers – spearheaded by Adam Darski, aka Nergal – are more than just the architects of their country’s legendary extreme metal scene. Over the course of three decades and previous eleven albums, Nergal’s singular vision has forged BEHEMOTH into something far more than a mere blackened death metal band. Beyond any confines of genre, they have grown to become no less than the personification of rebellion, individuality and unflinching self-expression informed by a literate worldview and worldliness that’s resulted in a locking of horns with everything from the mainstream press to the Polish Catholic church – most notably manifesting in Nergal’s trial for blasphemy in 2010 that only served to expose the deep-seated hypocrisies that his music seeks to challenge. It also highlighted the distinct lack of fucks that he has to give. Now world-renowned and yet exuberantly underground in their convictions, BEHEMOTH are perhaps the unlikeliest of success stories, but if their stratospheric ascent and hard-won commercial achievement can be attributed to anything, it’s a cast iron unwillingness to compromise.
Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski – Lead vocals, Guitar
Zbigniew Robert ‘Inferno’ Promiński – Drums, Percussion