Behemoth Frontman: 'Satan Is the Most Misunderstood Figure in the World'

Nergal discussed the Prince of Darkness - and you're not intrigued yet?

Ultimate Guitar

Behemoth frontman Nergal has been speaking to Metal Hammer about the band's new album, "The Satanist," and what it means to him as person.

"'The Satanist' is a very simple title, but it is also very complex and multi-dimensional. On the surface it appears to be very primitive and raw but it is also very meaningful and complex. In a sense, I don’t want or need to explain it because everyone can find their own interpretation. I think the music on The Satanist is enough. In a way, I have no need to talk about it."

He also notes that the record addresses Satan as a "misunderstood" figure:

"I wanted to make an honest statement about who I am and what life means to me, through this music. Satan is the most misunderstood figure in the world. He represents the truth and spirit of man, the freedom and honesty of who we are. I was raised as a Catholic and so I was told a lot about Satan, but it wasn't the truth. Satanism is about life and liberation and love for freedom. I have Satan in me, flowing through my veins and through my music."

78 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ben Hobson
    To be fair, Satan punishes bad people in Hell. Doesn't that make him...good? I can see where he's coming from.
    To be extra fair, that's actually not how it works. The Christian idea of Satan is more like a troll... He's miserable and powerless (cast down to Hell to be punished just like bad people are) and wants to bring as many people down with him as he can.
    matteo cubano
    satan is punished with people in hell as noted in the book of revelation. He is not a negative equivalent to God, he is equal to humans. In fact, the eternal hell mentioned in the Bible doesn't really exist until after Jesus comes back and everyone is judged. Until then Satan is actually roaming the earth.There are several "hells" mentioned throughout the Bible and no one is sure of what they are, who is there or what the differences are. However the eternal Hell after judgment is what I assume people often think of is called a lake of fire however theologians understand that to be metaphorical. They live in an eternal existence void of God's presence. Since "God is love", they are in an existence with total absence of love, because they do not worship love during their lives, they worship themselves, as Satan did. So what God actually does, is give people what they want. They don't want God in their lives, so He gives them eternal life without him. Earth is a mixture of hell and heaven because it has a mixture of both, love and lack of love (call it what you want), you are never fully separated from God (love), you are never fully present with God (love).Please, no hate, I am only stating facts about what the Bible says, this is not an argument or attempt to debate between philosophical or religious views. it's actually a rather interesting concept and if misunderstood it seems illogical and hypocritical.
    I don't see anything good about torturing people for eternity regardless of what they've done.
    I do. It gives people a sense of justice to think that bad people who have escaped justice on this world (Jimmy Saville for example). If there's a heaven for people, there must also be the opposite of it: hell (yin yang, balance of good and evil, etc.)
    A justice system is fine. If you punish bad people in the afterlife that's fine. The problem is when you give infinite torture for a finite crime.
    You really think that someone being tortured for eternity is justice? That's really messed up. Don't forget that according to the bible, it isn't just murderers and pedophiles who will go to hell. It's adulterers, atheists, homosexuals, etc. Not that I believe that heaven or hell actually exist. But it unnerves me when people talk about hell with a sort of relish, as if they can't wait for all the sinners to receive an eternity of inconceivable pain while they watch up in heaven with glee.
    "I have Satan in me, flowing through my veins and through my music" looking at that picture... i can see that...
    I think the idea of the makeup is to make it look like he's had nothing running through his veins for a while...
    From perspective Satan is the hero of the creation narrative and God is the villain (according to the story). In the story God is an authoritarian and absolutely in control being that prevents man from gaining knowledge, freedom and autonomy. God also tells man to subjugate woman, punishes all who disagreed with him, and eternally damned angels for making mistakes (such as disagreeing with him). Satan on the other hand is like Prometheus (who gave fire to man) and gives knowledge to man and woman, and told them that they could accomplish more. Upon hearing this, God punishes both man, woman, Satan, all snakes, and all the angels who agreed with Satan. This makes Satan seem noble for providing man with knowledge. At least that's how I interpret the story.
    that's so ancient aliens! anyway yes satan's roots back in the ancient times are good until cristianity LOL!
    as a Christian (I hate to admit it), that kind of blew my mind.
    Not to take either side on this but if your afraid to admit your a Christian, how could you actually be one?
    Jacques Nel
    I must say dude, I'm a Christian as well and I've never heard that interpretation. Very original, and if it were a story with different characters slotted into the "roles" of satan and God I bet everyone would root for the satan guy.But then again, do we actually know what's right or wrong or do most of us fall slave to pop culture about what's right and what's wrong?There's a saying that goes "The devil's greatest trick was convincing everyone that he doesn't exist". What's been happening through media? We're being told that revolting against rules that are put in place by the government, the Bible, God etc is a good thing. We are being told that rebelling against what we are "told to do" is wrong. The result is what (at least I think) we are seeing now: Countless people walking around rejecting the idea of religion, and rebelling against the general "rules" set out by religion. I'm not trying to convince anyone to suddenly believe in God or anything, but just for a second imagine that everything the Bible says IS the truth, then realize that satan is kind of reaching his objective.
    No, its exactly the contrary. Satan wanted us not to have free-will so that we could all be saved but that wouldn't work so Mr.Giantbeard said no.
    This is the best comment, I searched for this article just to find this comment
    “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” - Arthur C. Clarke
    How can you misunderstand something that is probably not real? Yesss.. let the butthurt flowww through you.
    Well i think this all considered under the assumption that he is real. (Don't get me wrong, I'm very Atheistic)
    Under the assumption, yeah. But realistically... not so sure. But you realize that.
    It's the existance of God all over... We can't see Satan, can't touch him, etc. so he cannot exist (that's one of the arguments to disprove the existance of God, applicable to Satan).
    Applicable sure. But that's not my only criteria. I can't, per say, touch air or heat or light or whatever, but I know they exist. The only proof we have that Satan, or God for that matter, is a book. Similar to Harry Potter, or the Hunger Games. Side note: I am really not trying to offend or upset ANYONE, I'm just stating what I believe.
    Yeah, I mean that's not the only argument for the existance of God/Satan. It's one of the theories disproving God. There are some lazy theories explaining the existance of God, e.g. no human could have built the universe, therefore it was made by a omnipotent being, therefore God exists. =/
    I am not religious, but it's obvious it has a symbol - and that symbol can be "misunderstood". In Poland Christianity takes a big part of the culture and indeed the whole society. I think his fight is; being the opposide of what the single-minded world he comes from symbols. That's his escape of the system to achieve personal freedom. - So to him Satan is a good thing, because it's his protest to show us the world isn't necessarily good for humanity. - It is not giving the individual the chance to be liberal, loving or free. - With satan he is given that chance!
    I'm going to assume Nergal is talking about Satan as a literary figure the same way one would talk about Apollo or Beowulf.
    And you are absolutely correct. He's not an idiot, its his metaphor. A metaphor that already has so much darkness attached to it.
    Well, he's right i suppose. Of course he doesn't believe in the literal devil, but according to the bible, if you actually read the damn thing, Satan gave man the knowledge of right and wrong, and his acts of "corruption" are usually trying to steer mankind away from religious genocide, which, by the bible's account, is rightous. Furthermore, he kills, what? three people, i think. Job's family, with the permission of god, where as god kills tens of thousands + floods the entire world, killing every man and animal on earth, except for a pair of each. So i guess he is right. However pretty much all Christian theology is plagerism from earlier mythology, so simply testamenting it to the bible and actually base your own identity on biblical figures seems to me a tad shallow. However, i will agree that Satan is by far the most interesting figure in the bible, mostly because of the constant preachments about him being evil and god good, but showcased again and again to be the other way around. Assuming the truth of the bible for a second, i was always intrigued with idea of SATAN actually being the good one, being the God of man, and the bible being written by this evil devil'ish entity to smear his name and turn mankind into savages and zealots. It actually makes ALOT more sense that way, if you try and stay consistent with the actual bible. Either way.. I don't know why i posted all this. Hardly the forum for it. Meh! Interesting though. Also Behemoth is awesomebawesome.
    There are a couple of stories about satan. The one i like and i thinks he aims for is the following: One day God called his archangels before him, including Lucifer (Satan), his greatest creation.God reduced his blinding light to the equivalent of a little candle and told his archangels to bow for him. Lucifer, whose light was almost equal to gods, refused. As punishment God threw him down and took Lucifer's light. I personally like this version of the story, and here lucifer represents free will by refusing. (Something God disapproves of?) So I think he's aiming at this version. Oh and btw, as an experiment, what would you do?
    Jacques Nel
    I think that it's impossible to make the argument that God does not exist until you can tell me you've been to every corner of this universe and confirmed that He does not. Sadly the majority of those posting here does not believe. I will not shove my religion down anyone's throat but I'll testify to one thing, of all the people I've known over the years the ones that believe in and follow God have prospered whilst I can say that every one of them who did not believe or want to believe has in some way seen their lives implode through time. I know that I will get flak for this probably because I may sound too preachy for the beloved metalheads of the forum but this is my honest experience. My own tail has been saved many times when I needed it before and I know intimately how it came to happen each time.
    I don't believe in god, yet I don't preach satan. I have seen enough and still here I am despite believing in god. But 1 thing is certain: I will never start believing in god because of all those bad things happened worldwide BECAUSE of god(whoever it is for you, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, I don't care) throughout history. Wars, mass suicides and stuff. All in the name of god. Nope. Not going to believe in such guy.
    You do know, it's not God or any particular god that starts the wars. It's the dumbs extremists
    Skiny boy89
    Satan comes from the Bible, The Bible clearly states he is deceptive and evil. Obviously his deception got to this poor mans heart.
    No,you believe that you are free because you do not attend an organised satanic church or cult.Do it and then come again...
    I don't think you know what the Satanic church is about. They're not actual devil worshipers. They're atheists. All of these satanic cults Christians are scared of, for the most part don't exist. There may be some weird people that worship the devil, but those people are nutty. If you worship the devil, then you have to believe God is real, and why would someone who believes in God want to defy him?
    That's my point:you just said that if someone worships the devil,that one is nutty.The Devil,as all mythological figures can be interpreted in a million ways,good or bad.The truth behind a lie is known only to the liar. Not to mention that it is stupid to have a church if you are an atheist...
    That's right. Nergal is not a satanist, because he's an atheist. "There's no God, there's human!" - his words before the show. It's just his image and nothing more.
    This is why I say "Praise, Hail Satan" to everyone I meet. He's not some fiendish character, he's an idea and I totally agree with Nergal on this on. If you think about it you could even say something as bold as "America, the land built on Satanism."
    TIL; half of the UG community is retarded. How could the idea that Satan is a good person sit so well with you??
    Most of us don't even buy Satan. Posting here about how stupid religion is seems just kinda pointless, and it has been done before. So why not just try to look past that and try to see what the man means?
    There is no God, only Behemoth
    You must have seen every inch, every corner, every bit of space there is in the universe to be able to say that there is no God. Wow O _o
    Cheer up or your face might stay that way. Oh, nevermind you're a dude wearing makeup. Yes, you are a dude wearing makeup. Nothing to see here, move along.....
    Satanists and Satanism are such jokes. This guy's trying to make Satanism seem meaningful, complex, and serious or whatever BS he gave there. It's only so people buy into his band. But in the end, Satanism is just another cooky religion and some metalheads who claim they're Satanists take advantage of the religion's creepiness. It makes them seem "legit" or more "metal." I think that's ridiculous. That's not what metal's about. As soon as you try too hard to be metal, you are NOT metal as you defy the principle on which it's based
    I don't think he likes satan because of metal. Rather the other way around..
    What percentage of the world actually understand the term metaphorical? I suppose its probably very close to the percentage of christians in the world.
    I pray that you see the existence of GOD and be wise to fear GOD because one day we all are going to stand before him.
    “The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled Was Convincing The World He Didn’t Exist.” - Verbal "The Usual Suspects"
    Dear doG shut up with the cracker jack theology that you learned from a late night televangelist who is probably banging the church secretary and his deacons too. Lets talk about Behemoth and their awesome music.