Saturday, September 18, 2010

Death Metal, Blasphemy,a Polish Pop-star, and Leukemia

At a glance the union of a man in face paint and a breast plate, fronting a blasphemous Death Metal band, and a blond pop-star described by some as a "polish Britney spears", might seem odd, and not just because the last time I checked no one ever accused Britney of having an IQ over 140.

But polish pop-star "Doda", Behemoth front man Nergal's fiance, made headlines herself in Poland earlier this year after publically saying of the bible, "It is hard to believe in something written by people who drank too much wine and smoked herbal cigarettes." a comment for which she could potentially face two years in prison under Poland's blasphemy laws.

Nergal himself faced the same charges in March of this year after tearing up a bible on stage during a show, which PZ Myers blogged about BTW, I knew I liked that guy!

All of this came to my attention, except the bit about the bible, right after I discovered much to my dismay, that Nergal had been diagnosed with leukemia and was awaiting a bone marrow transplant for treatment. Since Behemoth is not what you would call a mainstream act there isn't a lot of information about his conditional available but, the overwhelming response from fans and the inevitable claim of religious critics that his illness has or will lead to his conversion to chrstianity, have prompted Nergal to release a statement on the bands page which I wanted post in part here.

In response to the notion that his illness might lead him "back" to god:

"Finally, I want to comment on some opinions which, provoked by religious circles, lead to far-fetched and inaccurate interpretations. I was surprised to hear my illness became a pretext for some people to embark on their own crusade. Opinions suggesting I might come closer to God or abandon my ideals and grovel to the only correct world view in this country not only surprised but also frightened me. This is a typical example of supporting one's own views by preying on someone's misfortune. 'He fell ill so he will convert to Christianity, he will discover the religion he fought against is actually close to him.' Halt! Why should the illness change my point of view? It is true this is a difficult time for me and the thoughts of ultimate matters are hard to chase away. But the idea that I will change my opinions, priorities, and values as a consequence of my illness sounds as if someone regards my head, and not my body, ill. Suggesting I might convert are ridiculous. To what would I convert? After all, I know Christian mythology pretty well, not only in its literary version, and I find nothing good, creative or beautiful in it. I read books better and wiser than the Bible. War, blood, blackmail, rapes, incest, pedophilia, zoophilia, collaboration and treachery – each page emanates with evil. Some may say I don't understand the message of the Bible. I'd rather say the Christianity is nothing more than a rusty and archaic structure that is going to fall down any moment. It lasts only because of the gullible that follow the shepherd blindly; without any questions, without any consideration, not to any promised land, but to an intellectual slaughter. So, I say to those, who see some chances to break my rules, and myself because of the illness: over my dead body!"

what ever you may think of his music or his persona, I've seen few people in the world with the strength of character it takes to assert and maintain their personal beliefs and convictions in the face of their own mortality, and it's for that reason I wanted to share this portion of his statement here.

As for his condition, while he does not go into specific detail, he does acknowledge the long and difficult fight ahead him, which he asserts he has no intention of loosing. I sincerely hope he does manage to defy the odds and goes on to continue creating music and challenging religious authority and tradition for years to come. The world needs more angry atheists, not less.

If you'd like to learn about donating bone marrow go to:, and you read the rest of Nergal's statementHERE on the band's web page.


Behemoth's newest CD, "Evangelion" has quickly become one of my favorites. Below is the video of one of my favorite tracks from the CD, "Ov Fire and the Void". BUT, be forewarned, this is the uncensored version of the video and there is some brief nudity. So if you happen to have a nipple phobia, do not watch.

Behemoth "Ov Fire And The Void" from Metal Blade Records on Vimeo.

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