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Gdańsk Black Metal act BEHEMOTH's sustained campaign of relentless global touring and successive album output has seen the band elevated to a high profile international status. The group arrived with the December 1992 demo 'Endless Damnation'. Further tapes, initially released by Pagan Records - 'The Return Of The Northern Moon', issued in 1993 and featuring GRAVELAND's Rob Darken on keyboards, and '...From The Pagan Vastlands', closing out with a take on MAYHEM's 'Deathcrush', would later be committed to CD in Europe through German concern Nazgûl's Eyrie Productions and in the USA on Wild Rags Records. BEHEMOTH's recording roster for these sessions purported to comprise Nergal "War summonings, mayhemic rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, witching bass & sword pagan whispers", Frost (a.k.a. Rafa Bauer) "Chainsaw & electric lead guitar", Baal "Drums of war & hellhammers, backing voices" with session performers bassist S.K. and keyboard player Czarek Morawski. Rob Darken was in evidence again, supplying "Evil winds".

BEHEMOTH signed to Entropy Productions for a 1994 EP, the utterly grim 'And The Forests Dream Eternally'. Down to a duo credited as Nergal (Black Emperor of Behemoth) and Baal Ravenlock (Lord of Iron Thorns), with Czarek Morawski retained on keyboards, the combo signed to domestic label Pagan Records, recording 'Sventevith (Storming Near The Baltic)' in December 1994. Demonious provided two instrumental fillers, 'Ancient' and 'Hell Dwells In Ice'.

January 1996's 'Grom', distributed throughout Europe by Solistitium Records, found Les (a.k.a. Leszek Dziegielewski) now delegated bass duties. BEHEMOTH's Les and Nergal also formed part of the group DAMNATION that released the 'Rebel Souls' album in 1996 on Malicious Records. Drummer Ravenlock also forged HELL-BORN as a side project with DAMNATION and BEHEMOTH guitarist Les issuing an eponymous album in 1996. That same year 'The Return Of The Northern Moon' was re-issued on 12" blue vinyl format, limited to 500 copies and hosting extra tracks including the HELLHAMMER cover version 'Aggressor'.

With the band's star rising across mainland Europe, Last Episode Productions reissued 'And the Forests Dream Eternally' as a split album in collusion with DAMNATION's 'Forbidden Spaces'. Meantime, BEHEMOTH drafted new drummer Inferno, debuting their new sticksman with the EP 'Bewitching The Pomerania'. Another full-length offering followed via Solistitium, 'Pandemonic Incantations' being delivered in March 1998 and crafted by Nergal, Inferno, bassist Mefisto with Piotr Weltrowski on keyboards. Domestic Polish versions included the song 'Chwala Mordercom Wojciecha (997-1997 Dziesięć Wieków Hańby)', replaced by 'With Spell Of Inferno' on international variants.

The group, pulling in guitarist Havok, hopped to another new label, Italy's AvantGarde Music, for the next phase of their career as they morphed into a more streamlined Death Metal machine on October 1999's 'Satanica' opus. Significantly, BEHEMOTH had now employed poet Krzysztof Azarewicz to charge their lyrical content with intriguing depth. 'Thelema.6', emerging in November 2000, pursued a similar path of speed and technicality. DEVILYN's Marcin Nowak provided studio bass with Maciej Niedzielski contributing keyboards. Digipacks added a further four tracks included amongst was a take on DAVID BOWIE's 'Hello Space Boy'.

BEHEMOTH toured Europe in December 2000 as part of an almighty Death Metal package that included ENSLAVED, MORBID ANGEL, THE CROWN, HYPNOS and DYING FETUS.

The Polish Metal Mind Productions would issue a lavish two CD retrospective set in 2001 entitled 'Chaotica-The Essence Of The Underworld'. Besides archive material and demo cuts the collection included previously unreleased cover versions of MAYHEM's 'Freezing Moon' and DESTRUCTION's 'Total Disaster', recorded during the 'Grom' sessions. A further release, 'Antichristian Phenomenon', collected together BEHEMOTH's cover versions of 'Sathanas' by SARCOFAGO, 'Hello Spaceboy' from DAVID BOWIE, 'Day Of Suffering' by MORBID ANGEL and MAYHEM's 'Carnage' plus a video shoot for 'Christians To The Lions'. BEHEMOTH would be out on the road again in Europe during the Autumn of 2001 sharing billing with CARPATHIAN FOREST and Norway's KHOLD.

The Russian Irond label would re-issue the 'Satanica' album in February of 2002 adding a slew of extra tracks. Meantime Metal Mind Productions would release the lavish 'Metal Box' 3 CD set comprising of the two 'Chaotica' albums plus an extra CD of BEHEMOTH recorded live in Toulouse during 1999.

European dates slated for November of 2002 saw the band, promoting the album 'Zos Kia Cultus (Here And Beyond)', making up a bill including headliners DEICIDE alongside CENTINEX, DESTROYER 666, DIABOLIC and ANTAEUS. However, BEHEMOTH along with half of the other bands originally name, would be subsequently dropped from these shows. During December the group undertook headline shows in Poland supported by DARKANE. Former bassist Rafa 'Frost' Bauer would join IMMEMORIAL in early 2003.

The band's live schedule only increased during 2003, BEHEMOTH undertaking their debut US dates in April as part of the 'Coalition For Muzikal Armageddon' tour with running mates DEICIDE, AMON AMARTH, VEHEMENCE and REVENGE. Hitting North America once more the group initially tagged onto the first three shows of the April 'Metal Gods' road trek alongside HALFORD, TESTAMENT and PRIMAL FEAR before announcing they were then teaming up with the DANZIG spearheaded 'Blackest Of The Black' tour. However, BEHEMOTH Then pulled out of this package and instead united with the 'Un-Natural Born Killers' trek comprising SIX FEET UNDER, SKINLESS and BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.

However, just prior to these gigs they would lose the services of bassist Novy to VADER. Pulling in Orion as quickfire replacement BEHEMOTH then reverted to using a session bassist in the form of Istvan from California Black Metal band RISE. However, the band would then suffer a further casualty as guitarist Havok was let go too. They soon got back to work with shows in France. UK and European dates projected into October of 2003, dubbed the 'Bonded By Metal' trek, found the band forming up a billing comprising EXODUS, AGENT STEEL, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, MORTICIAN, CARNAL FORGE, OCCULT and CALLENISH CIRCLE. Further US gigs had the band on the road until December in union with EXHUMED and WEHRWOLF. The group also made a return to Mexico for headline gigs.

Promoting a limited edition EP entitled 'Conjuration', which saw cover renditions of VENOM's 'Welcome To Hell' alongside an unexpected 'Wish' originally by NINE INCH NAILS, in September the band put in a rapid fire burst of Baltic state gigs in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Nergal took time out to add guest vocals to the track 'Revenge' on Stoner band CORRUPTION's 2003 'Orgasmusica' album.

Nergal would join the high profile Israeli Black Metal band SALEM during their Israeli independence day gig at the City Hall club in Haifa on 24th May 2004, this set comprising both SALEM and BEHEMOTH songs. European shows that November dubbed the 'Clash Of Demigods' saw the band forming up a package billing with KRISIUN, RAGNAROK and INCANTATION.

Recording of a new album 'Demigod' at Hendrix Studios saw a guest guitar solo on the track 'Xul' donated by Karl Sanders of NILE. The choral intro to the song ''Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth' would be provided by the Academic Male Choir from Lublin. Promotion for the album, which debuted at a highly impressive no. 15 on the national Polish album charts, included the shooting of a promotional video for the track 'Conquer All' by director Joanna Rechnio. A DVD package, billed as 'Crush.Fukk.Create: Requiem For Generation Armageddon', would be set for September issue via Regain Records. Included would be footage of two complete shows from 2003's 'Party San' festival and 2001's 'Mystic Festival' events backed up with documentary footage and promotional video clips.

North American dates in January of 2005 saw the band partnering with SUFFOCATION and SOILENT GREEN. As this trek extended into February the band retained SUFFOCATION as road partners but also added CATTLE DECAPITATION and Minneapolis outfit DEVILINSIDE. Headline dates in Poland during March saw the band heading a billing of PANDEMONIUM and FRONTSIDE with the 'Hate Means Hate' European tour shows seeing Swedes IN BATTLE as openers. The Summer found the band engaged in a lengthy round of North American dates packaged with KING DIAMOND, NILE and THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.

On the promotion front, a video clip for the track 'Slaves Shall Serve', directed by Joanna Rechnio, would be served to television. An accompanying six track EP for 'Slaves Shall Serve' included non-album track 'Entering The Pylon Ov Light', cover versions of THE NEFILIM's 'Penetration' and DANZIG's 'Until You Call On The Dark' plus live tracks recorded at the 'Sweden Rock' festival. The band joined forces with the DANZIG headlined 'Blackest of the Black' US dates commencing in September, these shows accompanied by CHIMAIRA, MORTIIS, HIMSA and THE AGONY SCENE. A run of Canadian dates preceded two gigs in Turkey.

The group announced a touring partnership as part of the December 2005 'X-Mas' festivals in Europe ranked alongside recently resurrected UK Thrashers ONSLAUGHT, EXODUS, KATAKLYSM, UNLEASHED, OCCULT, and PRIMORDIAL. BEHEMOTH scheduled April 2006 US tour dates combined with MORBID ANGEL, Canadians DESPISED ICON and Brazilians KRISIUN

BEHEMOTH subsequently engaged in a gigantic roving festival billing with the 'Sounds Of The Underground' tour throughout the summer, commencing in Cleveland, Ohio on July 8th, partnered with IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM, CANNIBAL CORPSE, GWAR, TERROR, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, AS I LAY DYING, THE CHARIOT and THROUGH THE EYES OF THE DEAD. Closing the year, the group entered Radio Gdańsk studios in mid December to record the self-produced album 'The Apostasy'.

Shows across Europe for March and April 2007 aligned the band with NAPALM DEATH, MOONSPELL and DEW-SCENTED. BEHEMOTH then joined up with the OZZY OSBOURNE headlined 'Ozzfest' events throughout the summer months.

BEHEMOTH entered Radio Gdansk studio on 16th February 2009 to cut fresh album material. That May BEHEMOTH received some unexpected media exposure when the band found itself featured in the mainstream gossip media as Adam Darski was photographed "stepping out" with 25 year old Polish pop singer Doda and Playbol model (real name: Dorota Rabczewska).

The 'Evangelion' album was certified gold in the band's home country for sales in excess of 15,000 copies. The set spent four weeks on the official chart in Poland, coming in at the no. 1 position for three consecutive weeks after debuting at no. 2, just behind MICHAEL JACKSON.

Supporting BEHEMOTH on the January 2010 'Evangelia Amerika' tour would be SEPTIC FLESH from Greece and SHINING from Sweden.

Garry Sharpe-Young

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