Reel Metal: Behemoth – ‘Lucifer

 

Artist: Behemoth

Song:Lucifer

Album: Evangelion

Director: Dariusz Szermanowicz and Grupa 13

NOTE: The following post is not safe for work. The above video is censored, but you can find the uncensored version here. The screenshots below are from the uncensored version.

For any fans of Behemoth, you already know that their music videos are always on the forefront of metal video production. Their videos are only more controversial than the one before and always prove to be abstract, biblical, and gorgeous. You may also know that they almost always have boobies.

I was very anxious to see this video upon its release, as I hold Behemoth’s previous music videos for ‘Ov Fire and the Void’ and ‘At the Left Hand ov God’ to be a couple of my favorites. Both of which, and also ‘Lucifer,’ were produced by Grupa 13 and shot on the RED. Another reason I was excited for this video was because it was Behemoth’s first video release since frontman Nergal’s battle with leukemia. Satan bless the man who donated his bone marrow. Enough background, let’s get to the boobies and blood-drinking.

The video does a great job at grabbing your attention. Opening up with a sandy abyss, black flakes raining, a sickly young girl, and twisted shots of what look like biblical artifacts, you can tell you’re in for another great Behemoth clip. Once you know it was shot entirely in a horse boarding stable, the video’s beauty becomes even more impressive. Oh, I almost forgot; there’s also a black unicorn with fucking demon eyes.

A little after the minute long intro is where the video really begins to shine. A Polish make up/fx artist that goes by Kobaru really outdid himself. Both of Nergal’s make up outfits were excellent. Especially the burnt/charred skin version of Nergal that, in combination with the RED’s resolution, looks absolutely awesome. As always, Nergal’s eyes are blacked out for most of the video. But I can assure you, he was doing this long before Tyler, The Creator and those weird True Blood orgy scenes. Anyways, extra characters enter with extravagant costumes and make up; face-bending contraptions that you can only imagine a damned soul would be forced to wear. Not in Behemoth’s world, no. They put that shit on models.

Make no mistake, the make up and devices on these poor girls’ faces are very real, and quite painful according to the behind the scenes featurette here:

I have been able to interpret this much, as abstract as the video is, about the story. The young girl is deathly ill and about to be taken off of life support. Her mother and a priest are bedside with her for her final moments of life. The religion of the priest is not entirely clear, but it is apparent he is there to see her soul into the afterlife. Lucifer, on the other hand, wants her innocent soul for himself. The video takes place somewhere between hell and Earth where the battle for her soul is taking place. As her life fades and the life support is ceased, my interpretation is that her soul has succumbed to Lucifer as you can see Nergal and a few other characters celebrating her death by bathing and drinking her blood while Lucifer indulges in a celebratory cigar. As much as I would have liked to see a little band performance, the video holds strong without one. Perhaps during a solo, a guitar could have at least been shown, and drowning that in blood might have even been sexier than the blood-soaked titties.

I take that back.

The video’s cinematography is superb, as always. The amazing resolution of the RED camera combined with the smokey atmosphere, minimal key lights and the complimentary harsh rim lighting make for a very eye-pleasing experience. The cold, dark color correction really hammered it home and not for one second did they lose the illusion of being in some sort of hellish limbo with Lucifer. I highly recommend watching this video in the full 1080p resolution.

The editing was as expected for a Behemoth video, but this one stood out among the others as far as pacing. The editor did a fantastic job at following the heavy rhythms in combination with the ambient, satanic eeriness of the song “Lucifer.” Some great examples would be the slow motion shot of Nergal unmasking himself at around the times of 1:40-1:52. I got chills the first time I saw it, and I hold that single shot as one of my favorites in all of metal video history. In contrast to the slower, eerie editing, the heavier and faster moments are complimented with excellent speed ramping and tilt-shift blurring effects. Some of which could have been on camera while some were more than likely post. Another shot I hold in high regard was the perfect transition at 2:44 of the naked woman approaching Nergal with the crown in slow motion.

The special effects also deserve to be touched on. Remember that black unicorn from hell I mentioned earlier? Well, I applaud the special effects team on their work with the horse. As you can see in the behind the scenes video, the horse was slightly less than cooperative. The shots you saw of the horse walking into frame actually had a horse trainer in it guiding it every time. So on top of having to completely remove someone from the frame, they also had motion-tracking aids attached to the horse’s head to make the application of the unicorn’s horn in post more accurate. This, combined with the animation of the background during Lucifer’s scene, were very impressive feats. Well done, Grupa 13.

I could go on and on about the different shots in this video and how great they are in regards to the rest of metal videos being produced today, but it’s time to wrap this one up before I turn this into a film lecture.

Behemoth’s videos have always, and will always revitalize my faith in the music video as an art form. This video has surpassed their past two videos by leaps and bounds, and I look forward to their next release from both Behemoth, and Grupa 13.

 

• PROS

– Exquisite cinematography and lighting.

– Excellent and well-paced editing.

– Great concept/story.

– Admirable special effects.

– Some of the best make-up I’ve ever seen in a metal video.

 

• CONS

– No band performance shots.

 

• NOTABLE MOMENTS

– 1:52 – Nergal’s unmasking.

– 2:44 – Perfect song/shot transition.

– 4:21 – Young girl levitation.

– 5:42 – NERGAL BLOOD DRINKING AND BLOOD SOAKED TITTIES!

4.5/5

– CC

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