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It’s been a hard few years for Polish blackened metallers Behemoth on the personal front. Bassist Orion tells why frontman Nergal’s battle with cancer has shaped the future of the band. JESSICA WILLOUGHBY reports ahead of their show at Capitol on Thursday, October 24, supported by Hour Of Penance.

“Tomorrow could be the last day for any of us,” Behemoth bassist Tomasz ‘Orion’ Wroblewski muses about the future of his band. 

“But the situation we had with Nergal makes us more aware of this fact.”

This Polish blackened metal outfit is no stranger to illness or injury. Being together since 1991, these musicians have thrived on their thick skin and ability to rejuvenate their sound time-over. But in 2010, iconic frontman, Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski, reported a medical diagnosis that shocked all. Receiving a bone marrow transplant in his bid to fight leukemia, he overcame the cancer. Now, three years down the track, he is a new man. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed.

Along with a renewed vigour for life, Nergal’s outlook has influenced his fellow bandmates to live their lives better. To pour more energy into their art and enjoy the fruits their hard work brings. Orion says Nergal’s new attitude has rubbed-off onto Behemoth and he couldn’t be happier.

“It was just one big lesson and I feel the way we treat the band, and life in general, now is just better,” he says. “We do have a lot more appreciation for everything and we are trying to get as much as we can out of it all, professionally and personally. And everything that is happening with the band, it takes some work, but it’s growing. It’s hard to explain, but the change that we feel now is bigger than anything we’ve done with the band before.”

With their next album pegged for release in 2014, any new recording was always going to reflect the impact of Nergal’s battle in some way. Though Orion didn’t realise how dark their 10th offering was going to be until Behemoth’s vocalist started bringing ideas to the table.

Titled The Satanist, the bassist says this album fleshes out the negatives and turns them into positives. “There’s a certain attitude that comes with conquering death,” he says. “I haven’t been through it personally, of course, but being so close to someone who has and supporting them through the hard times reveals just how much of an emotional rollercoaster it can be. This album was one of the easiest for us because it basically wrote itself. On other albums, we had to force ourselves to push the boundaries of what was acceptable. This time we stopped doing that, because what we had experienced had already far surpassed our normal limitations.

“This was just the album Nergal needed to create at this time. He had to get everything out so he could start with a clean slate. And although I talk of how this album was a positive experience, don’t think we have gone soft. This is a dark fucking record. It’s about glimpsing at death and coming back to tell the tale.”

Behemoth play Capitol on Thursday, October 24, supported by Hour Of Penance.

Get your tickets here.

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