-Venue/Location/Date: Abandoned Church, Pisarzowice, Poland, 5th September 2020
Evoe (Live debut)
Prometherion (First performance since 2011)
From the Pagan Vastlands (First performance since 2009)
Sculpting the Throne ov Seth (First performance since 2015)
I unfortunately missed the actual stream, but they made it available for 72 hours. So luckily I was able to catch up.
Lets start with the obvious, they played in an abandoned church in their home country of Poland. Its ironic because Nergal said the title of the event, In Absentia Dei, translates to The Absence of God. If playing music that stands against religion in a place that’s supposed to be holy isn’t a statement, then I don’t know what is. We all know that Nergal and the rest of Behemoth are open with their views on religion. So it was a super bold, but also extremely genius move to make this abandoned church the place of the stream.
The whole setlist spanned their entire discography, even back to their first record. They wanted to make the ultimate Behemoth setlist and I’m pretty sure they achieved it. Naturally, there’s a couple songs I would have LOVED to see ( Inflamed With Rage, At The Left Hand Ov God), but I also understand not every song I want to hear will be played. Its their live stream, not mine. The kicked off the set with Evoe ( A Forest - EP), which I’m pretty sure is their newest song. It was their first time playing the track live. From there, the band continued their relentless audio/visual assault with songs like Prometherian, Comnquer All, Slaves Shall Serve, and Decade Of Therion. I know they had to go back and relearn a few of the tracks. I mean, you can’t expect such a busy band to remember everything they have ever written. Especially if they haven’t played it in over a decade (From The Pagan Vastlands). In my personal opinion, they really did choose the ultimate setlist. Its a setlist that further proves that this band is a fucking force that will not be stopped.
Lets talk about the visuals. Once I read they were going to be playing in a church, I was already excited. They are a very visual band. Not just because the corpse paint, but because they incorporate pyrotechnics into their set. I’ve seen them live twice and I know Nergal loves to put on a show. Sometimes they chance outfits and wear masks or headdresses. But they took things to a new level. They had fire dancers during a couple of the songs. But one artist stood out to me the most.
During the song Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer, they had a female walk out the into the room. She was wearing nothing except a crude form of underwear and what looked like gauze bandages on her head, covering her hair and ears. Her body was painted in all white, except what looked like a black inverted cross on her head. Now here is where things get interesting. She had hooks pierced through her muscle, and was suspended in the air in the form of a cross. Almost like how Jesus was displayed on the cross. Through out the entire song she remained suspended, and was even swung around a bit. As they were inserting the hooks, you could see the winces of pain and the blood drip down her back. So I can only imagine the mental state she had to be in. Especially know this was going to be for the entire world to see.