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Do Behemoth Still Play Concerts Like This? - 80%

OzzyApu, June 28th, 2009

The quality of this video has no doubt degraded over the years – and yes I’m watching the actual VHS for this because my library had a copy. I hope not to judge it based on the declining analog, but that’s the product it was issued as first, so I have no choice but to be a little lenient.

The stage Behemoth play on looks pretty cool: lights are vibrant and colorful, the platform is pretty big and themed well for Behemoth’s music at the time, most all the members go berserk playing their instruments, and the crowd is apeshit to say the least.

Nergal also has some funny ass lines between songs, even though it’s in Polish.

“Something something something something something something FFFROOMM DE PAAAGAAN! Vastlands…”

Hahahahaha… right after that Nergal spews out flames from a burning torch above the crowd, much like in his black metal days and damn does it still look awesome. I do wish there were subtitles during these parts, since this is a video and not just some half-assed recording. It might seem only odd to me, but who claps after a Behemoth piece? I can understand yelling and screaming in admiration, but clapping? It’s courteous, sure, but seems a bit out of place. I’ve clapped after some black metal bands play live, but I’d never expect that after Behemoth plays a song.

Luckily, much of the quality remains intact, so there isn’t a huge difference between the studio version (comparison to Satanica) and these live versions. Double bass isn’t too loud, but the rest of the kit sounds clear and brutal. Bass probably has the weakest output, but it’s hardly the mishap that kills the performance. On this copy, the guitars sound a little faded but still tear through the crowd nicely, so I guess I’ll call it good. I have yet to see any screw-ups, which is a big plus since bands sometimes have fuck-ups even on these videos.

Nergal sounds just as gnarly and demonic as he was on Satanica so that’s a huge plus knowing that he can reproduce the same growl live as he did in the studio. Thankfully, camera angles are decent , my favorite of which being two:

- The moving shots that capture the entire stage and crowd
- Any shot with Inferno

Solo shots focus up on whichever member is performing the solo, which more than never is Nergal. He also is wearing a weird ass shirt – like something from a Backstreet Boys video… can’t believe I’m making that reference… then again, Millennium was the hottest thing on the market at the time of this video’s release.

The best performance by far is “Chant For Eschaton 2000,” which the band was able to duplicate like crazy onto the stage. No, I’m not hearing the studio version dubbed over the live performance – I’m hearing the real deal: lights blazing like flames, Inferno beating the war rhythm of Hell, fans flailing like demons, and tremolo licking up all the evil a live setting can conjure. It’s great to really see them pull off the song so well, and especially without losing the attitude and quality (combined with great camera shots). I’m noticing also that bass seems to be prominent in some songs more than others, which kind of messes with your head and makes you think you hear it other times when you really don’t.

I’m not too sure why Behemoth wouldn’t endorse the DVD version, since it comes with extra material and likely has much better quality than this release. CDs still sound great after even twenty years, but a VHS like this that isn’t even a decade old really hasn’t aged as well as it should have. I may make Nergal angry by saying this, but check out the DVD. It surely enhances the listening and visual experience, and believe me when I say you’d enjoy it more than this rusty VHS version.