BEHEMOTH, the high priests of extreme metal have announced their 12th studio album, Opvs Contra Natvram, their most thought-provoking and arresting collection to date, set for release on September 16, via Nuclear Blast. The album’s first single, ‘Ov My Herculean Exile’ arrives today, alongside a cinematic official video, directed by Zuzanna Plisz.
The 10 chapters of fury that make up Opvs Contra Natvram were written and recorded over the course of a very strange year for the globe – a situation which only heightened the level of craft seen in these 43 minutes and 15 seconds of searing wrath. As with previous studio outings, Opvs… was produced by the band, with mixing by studio legend Joe Barresi (Nine Inch Nails, Tool, QOTSA, Alice in Chains).
Pre-order or pre-save the album here, and check out the spectacular video for ‘Ov My Herculean Exile’ above.
Renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and absolute creative control of Behemoth’s world, frontman and band visionary, Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski revelled in the depressurised environment afforded by the pandemic. It meant that for nearly the first time since the band’s inception over 30 years ago, there was no deadline to observe, allowing for a nearly unprecedented level of attention to the process of writing and recording.
Beyond any confines of genre, Behemoth have grown to become nothing less than the personification of rebellion, individuality and unflinching self-expression informed by a literate worldview and worldliness that’s resulted in a locking of horns with everything from the mainstream press to the Polish Catholic church – most notably manifesting in Nergal’s trial for blasphemy in 2010 that only served to expose the deep-seated hypocrisies that his music seeks to challenge.
Nergal states: “The album title means going against the current. It’s the negative of the values and morals and ethics that I stand against. I’ve seriously been wrestling with destructive tendencies in pop culture – cancel culture, social media, and tools which I feel are very dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are not competent to judge others.
“That’s something which I find very destructive and disturbing – and extremely limiting coming from an artists’ perspective. This is my middle finger to that. There’s a song on the record called ‘Neo-Spartacvs’. Spartacus was one of the most iconic rebels in history who went against the most powerful empire of all time. In the end, it’s me screaming, ‘I Am Spartacus, and so are you!’ I want to spark that flame of rebellion. If something seems wrong then stand up to it!”
Opvs Contra Natvram tracklist:
1. POST-GOD NIRVANA
2. MALARIA VVLGATA
3. THE DEATHLESS SUN
4. OV MY HERCULEAN EXILE
7. OFF TO WAR!
8. ONCE UPON A PALE HORSE
9. THY BECOMING ETERNAL
10. VERSVS CHRISTVS
Opvs Contra Natvram features twin cover art available in both black and white and will be released in the following array of physical formats, certain to thrill collectors of limited editions:
• Jewelcase CD (Black Cover)
• Digibook (Black Cover) [limited to 8500 pieces]
• Digibook (White Cover) [limited to 8500 pieces]
• Earbook Black/Gold Inkspot Vinyl (White Cover) [limited to 500 pieces]
• Earbook Gold/Black Corona Vinyl (White Cover) [limited to 500 pieces]
• Black Vinyl (Black Cover)
• Picture Vinyl (Black Cover) [limited to 3500 pieces]
• White/Gold Split Vinyl (White Cover) [limited to 650 pieces]
• Vinylbox Mailorder Edition (White Cover) [limited to 1000 pieces]
• Earbook (Black Cover) [band exclusive, limited to 1167 pieces]
• Gold Vinyl (Black Cover) [US Indie exclusive, limited to 350 pieces]
• Crystal Clear/Silver/Gold Inkspot Vinyl (White Cover) [band exclusive, limited to 666 pieces]
• White/Black/Gold Splatter Vinyl (White Cover) [band exclusive, limited to 1167 pieces]
• Transparent Red Vinyl (Black Cover) [EMP exclusive, limited to 300 pieces]
• White Vinyl (White Cover) [Nordics exclusive, limited to 300 pieces]
• Clear/Black Splatter Vinyl (Black Cover) [Kings Road Management exclusive, limited to 500 pieces]
• Gold/Black Marbled Vinyl (Black Cover) [UK Eyesore exclusive, limited to 300 pieces]
• White/Gold Marbled Vinyl (White Cover) [UK Recordstore exclusive, limited to 300 pieces]
• Clear/Black Marbled Vinyl (Black Cover) [HMV exclusive, limited to 450 exclusive]
Behemoth head off on tour with Arch Enemy and Carcass later in the year. Check out this tour video with dates…