The Polish black/death metal giants of Behemoth are nothing short of remarkable. Not only do they consistently deliver some of the most extreme music around, they also present breathtaking performances. Weaving in pure madness with a grandiose display of theatricality, the band’s live show is a must-see for every metalhead’s bucket list.
Behemoth will be hitting the road on May 10, 2018 in support of Slayer, but fans can begin to build up the hype with the band’s new live DVD/Blu-ray, Messe Noire, now.
Messe Noire, directed by Dariusz Szermanowicz, captures the nightmarish ferocity of the band’s The Satanist live show. Across its near two-and-a-half-hour runtime, the film covers Behemoth’s sinister performances in Warsaw, Poland, on Oct. 8, 2016, and at Brutal Assault Festival in 2016.
The goal of a great live concert film is to capture the feeling of what it would be like to see that band or artist in person. The director and camerawork should translate the essence of the show, connecting viewers with the performance, even with the obstacle of a screen in between them. So, with a band so profoundly furious as Behemoth, how well does this translation work? In the case of Messe Noire, it is magnificent.
From the moment the picture starts, the viewer enters a new world. With the room almost in complete darkness, images appear across a screen: dark woods, along with hooded men beating on drums. Nergal performs his ritual of swaying flames about the stage, building the tension for the onslaught to come. The band begin to ramp up the intensity, emitting ominous guitar tones as Nergal shouts toward the crowd. More odd and disturbing visuals appear, such as a woman raising her arms toward the sky, a white powder descending upon her.
There are a variety of camera angles that get viewers up close and personal with the band. For a show that uses so many lighting effects, everything is in clear focus. You’re never going to strain your eyes, for the film has a tremendous high-definition quality. The camera captures each ravenous movement in all the shades of light and color that flash across the stage.
But the true gift of the package is the music. The picture primarily focuses on material from their 2014 The Satanist album, while also including tracks from past records. Behemoth bring each song to life as they thrash away, the sound quality capturing the pure hellish bliss of the material. The camera does a stellar job of focusing in on each theatrical movement that Nergal and the band take part in. The top-notch quality in the production comes together across both shows to create a sincerely immersive experience.
Messe Noire is required viewing for Behemoth fans and a film worth every metalhead’s time. Many bands just come onstage, play their songs, and leave, but with Behemoth, each member brings pure professionalism and passion to their performance. Messe Noire captures this brilliance and translates it with excellent care for viewers to enjoy.
If you are going to see Behemoth this summer, this film will do an excellent job of preparing you for the delicious mayhem to come.