Behemoth Frontman: 'Today's Extreme Metal Is Dull, Boring Masturbation'

"It's all about making noise, and I don't see point in that," Nergal explains.

Ultimate Guitar

Behemoth frontman Nergal gave modern extreme metal bands quite a ripping, calling their work "dull, boring masturbation."

Chatting with Andrew Epstein, the frontman was initially asked about the band's place on today's extreme metal scene.

"Today's extreme metal scene is all about making a lot of noise and just playing millions of riffs within one song, and I don't really see the point in doing that. You know what I mean?" Nergal replied.

"To me, it's masturbation, it's dull, it's boring, it's flat at the end of the day," he continued (via Blabbermouth). "When you listen to those kinds of records, it doesn't [do anything for] me at all. I grew up listening to extreme metal bands like Slayer, even Blasphemy, the most extreme bands ... or Mayhem ...

"They would still make songs, you know what I mean? There was a place for a chorus, a place for verses, a lead ... And we keep that formula going. Even though our music is different, we are in a different place, we still compose songs, and that's what people dig after all.

"I mean, the things that have hooks and that are memorable, I'm not doing this to attract people, I'm doing it to attract myself, because I grew up that way, I was raised with that kind of music, and I appreciate it in other bands, so I definitely wanna do it the same in Behemoth," the musician concluded.

The latest Behemoth studio effort, "The Satanist," saw its release on February 3 via Nuclear Blast Records, landing at No. 34 on the US Billboard 200 chart.

95 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Yay he prased da kerry king prject! 2 bad dey crap all over his band!
    every day you log into this and spout the same old overused joke on some news story.. am i the only one that thinks kerryking01's jokes have been run into the ground for awhile?
    There's something endearing about seeing his face popup in every article. And his grammar, of course
    I like how nearly everything in metal is described as being either try hard chugga chugga powerchord breakdown crap or as tryhard millions riffs and time signatures a minute overly complicated taps and sweeps for no reason crap. Yup. Nothing sitting in between that, apparently.
    It's ironic that this is how I feel about Behemoth.
    because it's not like the satanist wasn't one of the few extreme metal albums of modern times that the vocals didn't sound like someone getting raped with knife.
    Yeah, you should probably listen to more than one album before making a generalization like that.
    Second Rate
    you're not alone, a lot of people (myself included) feel that way about Behemoth. Behemoth ceased being interesting years ago. In fact, most of these old dinosaurs that have been coming out lately with these "back in my day" rants ceased doing anything worth a damn years ago.
    he must be masturbating wrong because it's certainly not those things.
    Maybe this is masturbation to him because he's so extreme he can only masturbate furiously.
    I dig Behemoth. I read a few things awhile back where Nergal always tries to push his playing forward whether its some new exotic scale or arpeggio or what not on every new album. If you haven't heard the Satanist yet go check it out, its a pretty smokin album.
    Every single metal guy has been saying this lately. It's the old guys telling the young kids about the days when music was music. It's very subjective.
    The Virtuoso
    Most of you wankers who are agreeing with Nergal do not know shit about modern metal, which is why you, and Nergal, are wankers.
    I can see where he's coming from. While I don't necessarily agree with his statement, a lot of the popular metal bands now do sound very similar. A lot of it is an overproduced sweepfest solo for 7 minutes in a strange time signature. Animals as Leaders and Periphery both have some great musicians and are very talented, but they're perfect examples of bands that bore me to death.
    While I should have stopped reading at "overproduced", Periphery is the exact perfect example of a band that combines technicality with good songwriting, and they have ****tons of songs which are catchy as hell in addition to being complicated. But yeah, I should always stop reading at "overproduced".
    And the issue're all judging JUST based on popular bands. The popular metal bands are very, very much...surface bands. They're not bad bands, but they mainly act as intros to metal. The good metal (new or old) tends to be the stuff you discover as you dig deeper into the genre.
    Stop being a back-in-my-day dickbag
    Person here who is currently playing in a metal band and living in the days that will someday be "the days": I completely agree with him. I see too many bands focusing purely on writing extreme math-metal which they try to play as fast as they can. It goes from being metal to just being a blur of notes and beats which completely impossible to headbang properly to (yeah, I know it sounds strange, but I mean it literally when I say "blur of notes and beats"). It's has come to the point that when local metal band is playing a gig in town, and another generic acoustic guitar singer is playing in the local pub, I'm going to the pub - There the beer is cheap, there's usually good company, and I don't have to deal with bloody 13 year olds trying to headbang but looking instead like they're having a seizure, old metalheads telling me again and a-****ing-gain with 2 minute intervals how they don't like this new wave of metal bands, and the mandatory drunk 30-year old skinhead crawling up on stage and puking on the drummer.
    I'm so sick of the "old guys" trying to tell the new guys that new music isn't extreme. I can get on bandcamp and find 5 metal bands in 5 minutes that are just as extreme (if not more so) as the "old guys". It's like, because all they see is the surface band, guys like Nergal think everything is generic and boring these days. Wake up, man!
    He obviously didn't hear about Between the Buried and me
    I think Nergal knows what he is talking about here. He is right, most metalbands today are more busy being extreme and brutal only for the matter of that. - They forgot the music. He is not pointing out ALL bands. - I believe Between the Buried and me is a respected band
    Dokkie got it. People seem to be too focused on writing these insanely fast and technical riffs to step back and write something that is rather simple and melodic that fits to the music itself. 2 of my best mates have started a band, and thats what they seem to be very focused on deathcore growls, heavy breakdowns, and extremely technical guitar / drum work, but alot of the time, it just sounds like so many other bands out there, nothing unique, and heavy for the sake of being BROOTAL Personally, i enjoy writing music similar to Katatonias last 4 albums which are doom / gloom metal, because of the atmosphere created with the music itself
    I'm glad that he has actually put out an album which supports his argument, rather than being a hypocrite. The Satanist was a very good album, well received, so he can talk about it, unlike other musicians who say something which contradicts their work (look at what Kasabian are talking about right now). Though, he's touching upon personal preferences, which is always going to be a difficult topic to win. Sure, there are examples of dull metal bands, but there are some great bands out there.
    Except, that's not what he's talking about... He says they try to fit 100 riffs in one song and doing super noisey solos, so I think this is an obvious jab at tech-death, which I would agree with him on, but to pigeonhole all of extreme metal as such is dumb. I also find it funny that he uses masterbatng since I see the word blasterbating applied to Behemoth often, and it's pretty true for the Satanica and onward stufff...
    btbam is amazing, although they aren't extreme metal
    Define what 'extreme' metal is then.
    traditionally, black, death, thrash, and doom metal progressive metal is rarely as abrasive and 'extreme' (in aesthetic or composition) as bands falling in those genres
    FYI Progressive Metal is not a distinct genre. For those who haven't got the memo, "Progressive" only refers to a structure, whereas Death Metal, Thrash Metal, etc, refer to a sound. Between the Buried and Me is Progressive Death Metal. If you're "Progressive Metal" then you're actually "Progressive Heavy Metal", which means clean vocals through and through like Queensryche or Dream Theater. BTBAM has the harsh vocals of Death Metal and blast beats and so on, so they are Death Metal, and also Progressive, thus Progressive Death Metal. They've even referred to themselves as Progressive Death Metal so there's no debate.
    crazysam23_Atax, "Progressive Metal" is just a catch-all tag, really. And earlier BTBAM is closer to Deathcore. Later, BTBAM is just regular Prog Metal. Also, what a band calls themselves means very little.
    harsh vocals are used a lot but i doubt i would say extreme
    blast beats, high tempos, shred guitar, death metal vocals, crazy time signatures... I would say extreme no doubt.
    I guess you've never listened to BTBAM then. Because abrasive is a part of their sound; though, it wasn't as emphasized on the last 2 albums.
    Absolutely true. I don't know if his own band is actually any better- but 'extreme metal' bands or as we call them in the 2010's the 'metal bands' seem to have forgotten about song structure, instead attempting to cram them full of different things and make them complex over power and clarity. Seems to be all about who can do the meanest growl and fret the fastest tapped harmonics in the lowest possible tuning to a drum beat that takes the drummer a month to even remember but still doesn't offer anything new.
    Youll find that a lot in today's metalcore.
    That's slowly fading out of style though. Look at bandcamp. There's a lot more bands that just write good songs and worry about dressing it up AFTER they have the basic riffs or whatever.
    I'm quite surprised that he would say this, looking as he's generally a very rational person - some bands obviously do that, but there are lots of bands who don't and who also write actual songs in addition to being extreme. It's pretty much the same debate as "is new music bad" - no it's not, there's bad new music and there's awesome new music. I feel this has been taken out of context or something.
    Van Guff
    If it goes flat at the end of the day, I'm sure there's a tablet he can get. On a more serious note, a lot of metal nowadays is pretty dull
    Because people are too quick to label music "generic" and "radio-friendly". Nowadays it's just "chugchugchugbleep-bloop" or a long, pretentious prog song. It's hurting everyone caught in the middle writing straight-up death metal.
    The guy admits he's a contrarian so of course he's going to hate anything that he isnt putting out. i like behemoth but nergal is full of crap.
    I think metal has become boring in some areas. Bands that are good are like post metal almost.. like bands that have metal elements but are taking it to new areas.. bands like Mastodon, Opeth, Baroness etc
    I was at a music festival the other day - and met a bunch of these typical extreme-metallers. I honestly couldn't stand their company. Their whole PERSONALITIES were based around being metal as **** and not giving a shit. Biggest bunch of try-hard ****s i ever met. Just play whatever's inside you. Besides, just for the record, Tom Waits has made stuff way more heavy than any metal musician could ever make it. It's not about being ****ing hardcore - it's about being honest. Honesty is brutal.
    Second Rate
    Tom Waits.... lol. Hipster retro blues trash before hipster retro blues trash existed.... the proto-hipster if you like. You are clearly either A.) an aging Gen Xer who just can't get over the fact that the 90s are over and that it is now okay to write music with more than three chords again. or B.) A guy born in the mid 90s who has a proclivity toward dressing thrift store chic and despairing over the fact that the 90s are over and people are once again enjoying music with more than three chords. Which one is it? I'm reading a post whining about "typical extreme-metallers" from a guy with that idiotic symbol that graces the cover of nearly every Morbid Angel album next to his name. Something tells me that when you first discovered "extreme metal" you were probably all caught up trying to be, as you so eloquently put it, "metal as ****." You know what? I retract my first paragraph. You're not a hipster, you're just an *******.
    I never implied that i did not like extreme metal - i do. Quite alot - As you might have noticed, i did not actually complain or whine about music at all, but about attitude. Which, let's face it, alot of modern "Extreme" Metal lacks. It kinda lacks the extreme part. Seems to be more of a cool club than an actual music community by now. Also, why so angry? And how the hell did Tom Waits make you think about the 90ies? He happens to have been around a tad longer than that. All in all: Ad Hominem, generalization, Ad Hominem. Your comment has as much value as the warts on my dick
    his music sound noisy , satanist gesture , trying to be Philosophic but sucks , no Creativity , up tempo pedal over-n-over to me ... maybe he acts like that to separate his band from that "dull, boring masturbation." thing .
    Says the frontman of a band, that thinks dressing up like a bad rip-off of KISS is very modern and hip, apparently. Behemoth can **** off.
    Has he even listened to any modern extreme metal? I can think of like kickass 30 bands just of the top of my head that are only 5 years old, and 30 more that are about 10 years old. The way he describes it makes it sound like all modern bands are like Brain Drill or something.
    Upon reading this, all I can say is: "People who live in glass houses..."
    This is what separates greats bands (like my band, BFMV) from shitty ones. We actually write songs not wank fests.
    He is 110% right. Most metal bands today just try to be brutal and extreme just for the sake of being brutal. They don't care about the music. As long as there's death growls and drop A guitars, it's all good
    Frontman of over-polished, watered-down Black/Death band, who is only popular amongst 14 year olds who only know like 4 Extreme Metal bands, expresses an opinion you would definitely expect from the frontman of over-polished, watered-down Black/Death band to have, probably having formed this opinion because he, himself, also only knows like 4 Extreme Metal bands. More at 11, where, having read Twilight, he proclaims modern literature to be dead.
    The Virtuoso
    Most of the time when I hear people say metal has become boring, I wonder if what they're implying is that they have become bored with metal. There is a metric fukk tonne of metal bands out there, and most of us have heard 0.3% of it. Get out there are start looking if you honestly believe metal is just boring these days.
    Kerry King is a piece of shit,only degenerate mindless sheep would like anything he plays or attempts to play. As for deathmetal vocals sounds like somebody straining on the toilet.AAAARRRGGGHHHH I think I would rather listen to Ornette Coleman vrs.John Coltraine on a freejazz throwdown!
    I believe nergal included behemoth in that statement, as they are extreme metal.
    Behemoth is an interesting band and I feel like they've gotten much better with time. I enjoy a lot of the music he's critiquing but I also can empathize with this viewpoint.