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Behemoth - The Forum, London - December 9 2014 (Live Review)

Thursday, 11 December 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Witnessing the heaving, leather-clad mass of bodies in the Forum tonight, it's hard not to shed a tear of satanic joy for Behemoth. They packed this venue out in February on a co-headline run with Cradle Of Filth, so it's downright beautiful to see them do it again on their own.

The whole thing roars into life as Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’s larger than life, incomprehensibly evil riff pours from guitarist Seth's gnarled fingers. The thunderous salvo of Inferno's drums and Orion's bass come next, followed by Nergal stepping towards the microphone and spitting hate.

The frontman's defiant cry of 'you know the words!' finds a few thousand die-hards bellowing the song's title right back at him. This level of audience participation is unheard of in these parts, as is his goading of the crowd.

He snarls at the front row, demanding they clap, and keeps the entire venue enthralled as he details how he is a pariah in his native Poland, before ploughing through the family-friendly Christians To The Lions.

The sense of theatre on display adds to the spectacle. Elaborate musical spook tracks appear throughout, escalating tension and paving the way for some of the finest metal forged this year. Nergal often stands alone, carving a gaunt figure centre stage as his band prepare for the next assault. They are in the form of their lives; punishing their instruments and punching out a deathly racket with the authority and confidence of an arena band.

Songs from 'The Satanist' garner the best response – it is the best metal album of the past 15 years, remember – and to see the blackened-death thrashgasm of Furor Divinus aired at break/crunch/completely-dismantle-neck speed is momentous. A bass-heavy cover of Siekiera's Ludzie Wschodu is a welcome surprise, while the tremolo-picked fury of Chant For Eschaton 2000 has them spewing (hopefully fake) blood as they bring the main set to a close.

Sending us into the night with a merciless O Father O Satan O Sun!, Behemoth leave the stage cloaked, masked as devils and completely victorious. The setlist is a near replica of the one they played here 10 months ago and there's not a sputter of pyro in sight. But who cares? This show is a revelation. It's proof that metal can be this extreme and have a broad appeal. It's Behemoth's victory lap for 2014, as they revel in the knowledge that they are one of the most powerful forces in music today.

Behemoth Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu December 11 2014 - DUBLIN Academy
Fri December 12 2014 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sat December 13 2014 - MANCHESTER Academy

Click here to compare & buy Behemoth Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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