Behemoth’s Live Stream Event “In Absentia Dei” Delivers In Dramatic Fashion

Poland’s black metal gods Behemoth launch their first ever live stream event with In Absentia Dei, but this would be much more than just a live show. From the opening scene depicting the band as the four horsemen galloping across an open field totting black cloaks and and war flags, Behemoth sets the tone for the onslaught that is coming our way.

As the figures look on, the camera pans to an ancient church with smoke coming from its steeple while they make haste. Once they arrive, they are met at the gateway by goblets of fire and as they step foot inside, the camera swings around revealing the bands last few steps under an archway of fire walking towards their altar and it is at this point… the show begins.

(Screen shot and cover photos Photo Credit: Behemoth’s Facebook)


As the smoke and lights fill the main alter area, Behemoth unleash the live debut of “Evoe” which is off the bands latest EP A Forest. The song catapults the set into a triple picking fury and double bass assault with Adam “Nergal” Darski leading the charge on vocals.

The visuals right out of the gate are nothing short of incredible. Between the lighting from inside and outside of the church, the cut away exterior shots and just the overall dark and medieval ambiance of the interior of the church itself, just blows the doors off any expectations I possibly had for this show.

Behemoth showed no mercy for their viewers as they roll right into “Wolves ov Siberia” off their last studio album I Loved You At Your Darkest. As fast and furious as this song is, especially live, it’s that build up from drummer Zbigniew “Inferno” Prominski leading into the climatic ending that really gets the blood going.

Behemoth went back for some deep cut tracks like “Prometherian” which hasn’t been played live since 2011 and for the first time in 11 years, “From the Pagan Vastlands” to round out the first portion of the afternoon.

(Photo Credit: Behemoth’s Facebook)


As the camera pans into another area of the church, a hooded figure in a mask can be seen swinging a thurible (smoking canister a priest swings in church) back and forth with more fire and ash emerging with every pass. This sets up those four brutal chords that make up the intro to “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel“. As the slow but heavy pace plays out, the lighting changes painting the cathedral with dark reds and yellows, really giving it that demonic presence while setting the tone throughout the song.

The next image is of a woman in flesh tone leotard walking towards a ring that it suspended from the ceiling. When the band breaks into the heavy blast beat infused “Antichristian Phenomenon” she can then been seen from different angles as she sores through the air perched on her ring of fire.

Nergal now takes time to address the viewers in saying that “We are all together and together, we can Conquer All!” which is the only fitting way to begin the song of the same name. After that intense display, you begin to hear low and heavy chanting, the camera than turns back to Behemoth as they stand ominous peering through the fire and smoke.

When the smoke clears we notice bass player Tomasz “Orion” Wroblewski is now wearing a crown of dead crows on his head and Nergal is now sporting spiked leather vest as they chug away on the dark and ruthlessness of “Lucifer“. If they actually had black metal shows in the medieval periods in Poland 1, admission would be incredible cheap to todays standards. And 2, this right here would be exactly what I would think it would look like.

(Photo Credit: Behemoth’s Facebook)


As the 3rd act begins, we are greeted by a topless woman wearing only a black leather chastity belt of sorts and legs bound, as she is being escorted out of the darkness by 3 demonic men in black robes. As they reach their destination under a steeple with fabric draped off of it, the men begin to pierce the woman’s back with large pins and hooks through her wrists leading her to be suspended from that very fabric she stood under.

While “Ora Pro Nubis Lucifer” echoes off the stone walls, she is hanging from the ceiling like a crucified marionette doll in front of the band looking on as one of her satanic handlers pulls her back and forth from the ground. The lights eventually go off to reveal a woman spinning what looks like a primitive candle ring with a skull in the middle as “Satans Sword” plays in the background like an epic hellish soundtrack.

At the end of the song, Nergal stares with vicious intent into the camera as the lights dim around his face. “Ov Fire and the Void” is a track fueled by double bass and guitarist Patryk “Seth” Sztyber’s melodic triple picking lead from start to finish, making it a real headbanger to watch. The visuals leading into the next part of the show included an eye with a red iris as pictures of statues and the church itself, mesh together within it like a kaleidoscope.

When we reconvene back in the church, all focus is on Nergal as he is now wearing a headdress shouting into a megaphone with can only mean one thing, that “Chwała mordercom Wojciecha” is here. Nergal navigates from high up on the upper level of the church down to the fire pits where he then lights two sticks and begins to acts as a conductor to the rest of the band while confetti bombs and pyro go off all around them. Next, the crushing breakdown riffs of “As Above So Below” did all but bring the building down all around them.

Slaves Shall Serve” is just an explosive musical onslaught from start to finish leaving me in amazement that the guitars even had strings left on them by the end. Rounding out the merciless 7 song 3rd act “Chant for Eschaton 2000″. With the front 3 members perched up on rocks like the black metal gods they are, its frontman Nergal who breaks form waving us to come closer as blood slowly drips from his mouth.

As Sztyber picks that most recognizable lead, blood is now being spit up at every chord change from everyone with a guitar. As the song carries on, the pyro around Behemoth grows until the the final breakdown when it starts to look more like a dragon shooting fire all around the stage area.

(Photo Credit: Behemoth’s Facebook)


After returning for the 4th and final act, we see bassist Tomasz Wroblewski walk out form the shadows with a bow and arrow in hand. He then lights his arrow and fires it off into the distant night, igniting two Behemoth corsses in a field. As they burn lighting up the night sky, an acoustic guitar rings in the background and for the first time in 5 years we hear “Sculpting the Thrown of Seth” from 2004’s Demigod.

Following the trading of guitar solos, Patryk Sztyber is picking the notes that start off “Bartzabel“. As he stands on his own playing, we can see Zbigniew Promiński wearing a face mask with part of a human vertebrae on it and pounding away on his floor tom and snare with two bones in place of drum sticks. As this intro starts to gain momentum, Nergal walks out wearing a black mitres (pope hat) with silver crosses scattered across it.

The Behemoth structures that were once burning on stage with the band are now extinguished and blackened as their haunting chorus lines resinate around the building. “Decade of Therion” gave the viewers the chance to catch quiet a light show as they seemed to be timed to Prominski’s drum kit which created a strobing effect for most of the song while the thunderous background vocals of Patryk Sztyber and Wroblewski provide the songs inhuman growls.

A black and white videos shows a man on horse back while on fire riding towards the church which now has pyro shooting out of every opening. The camera pulls in to see Nergal’s face covered in blood, standing in the church which is now completely illuminated in red. What better way to end it all then to play “O Father O Satan O Sun!“.

With as much fire as outside it was equally matched on the inside as all four members are now playing with black cloaks over their heads, much like how they first appeared. As their sermon to Satan and final song of the bands incredible performance come to an end, our final image is that of the burning Behemoth crosses in the field as the camera switches to floating ash in the night.

(Photo Credit: Behemoth’s Facebook)


Behemoth like in many other aspects of their career have come up with something truly unique and incredible to share with their fans. Not only with the performance itself but the entire production from beginning to end was unlike anything I have ever seen. Even with all the talent of the band themselves and the talents of everyone on their crew, I don’t think this show really drives it home if it had been shot at a different location. There could not be a more perfect setting for Behemoth to host such an amazing show to tell such a dark story. As I was watching in awe, I couldn’t but think of it as a black metal “The Song Remains The Same”. Hats off to everyone involved with pulling off the best stream of the year!