Nergal - Behemoth

Coming in hot off a triumphant battle with Leukemia and having a hit on his hands with the acclaimed new album The Satanist, Behemoth frontman Adam Nergal Darski must be feeling more invincible than ever before. The outspoken musician has made plenty of controversial statements in the past, but of course he’s bound to say something that will ruffle someone’s feathers sooner rather than later. We’re not even a week past The Satanist‘s release date and we already have a polarizing statement out of Nergal as he shares his distaste for the United States death metal scene.

In a review with Ghost Cult Magazine, he put the American death metal scene on blast as being too generic and overproduced:

“The majority of Death Metal bands from the U.S.A are so generic, they all sound perfect. It is fast and technical but there is no substance. Bands forget about emotion when they strive for perfection. You should be driven by your intuition and not just be concerned with shredding on your guitar. Perfection is boring and uninspiring.”

While Greg Kennelty of Metal Injection agrees, I have a tiny problem with this. I mean sure, our death metal scene is weak compared to the rest of the world — none of “first choice” death metal artists are American — but it’s not like we’re devoid of quality. We’ve got fantastic up and comers with Fallujah, Artificial Brain, Flourishing, Pyrrhon, and Rivers of Nihil as well as seasoned vets Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus.

And I’d go as far as to argue that Canada (massive tech death scene) and Sweden (melodic death metal/modern metal) have contributed greatly to the stagnation of the genre. I’m not saying we haven’t helped, and I get what he’s saying in that a raw, visceral production and true emotion trumps that perfect mechanical studio sound and uninspired “for the sake of it” metal — Rings of Saturn and Brain Drill anyone? — but I’m not a fan of blaming uncle MURIKA for everyone’s problems.

Also, it doesn’t help that much of the Behemoth back catalogue can be seen as fairly generic and entry-level. The Satanist will likely be seen by myself and others as one of this year’s best albums, but let’s be real here.

Am I mistaken in taking this too personally? Do you agree? Disagree? Let’s start a discussion about this in the comments below.

– JR

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