Behemoth Frontman: Metal and Christianity Are Incompatible
In the time that has passed since the release of Behemoth's 2009 album Evangelion, band leader Nergal overcame a life-threatening leukemia scare, avoided prison time after blasphemy charges in his home country of Poland were dropped, and got let go from a gig as a judge on the Polish version of The Voice due to concern over his anti-religion statements and actions.
Prior to all of this going down, the Polish death metal titans had already carved out a reputation as one of the most overtly anti-religion bands in the scene. The experiences of beating leukemia and the Polish government have only strengthened Nergal's resolve in his beliefs.
During our conversation, however, Nergal is very careful to express his feelings against religion not in terms of hate, but in terms of a quest for freedom.
"[What we do] isn't just about celebrating music. It's about celebrating freedom. Freedom has many names, and freedom has many faces. We consider Behemoth a conduit of freedom."
But this quest for freedom isn't coming easy. Their current U.S. tour -- which hits House of Blues in Hollywood tonight -- has already had controversy. According to Nergal, the promoter of their first stop in Columbus, Ohio pulled the plug on the show, citing his own religious beliefs as the reason.