Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH have just completed their first-ever Asian tour. The band's frontman, Adam "Nergal" Darski, has checked in with the following report:
"I'm writing this while sitting and waiting for our flight back to Poland from Amsterdam. I'm slowly 'digesting' this experience from past few days, and even though it was quite a struggle, big smile comes up on my face. I can honestly say that we're happy and satisfied.
"The tour kicked off in Japan and it went great. We waited for ages to come down there but for some reason there was never enough interest from either the labels or promoters to organize BEHEMOTH show or even license any of our previous records. I seriously started thinking that we suck, ha ha. But things changed a lot with our last album, 'The Apostasy', that was picked up by JVC. Creative Man Agency from Tokyo along with The Flames Arts from Belarus joined forces to make the impossible possible: we finally landed in Japan! First impression was seriously striking, it's such an exotic place…everything, cultural differences to architecture were vast, and I'm sure none of us have ever seen anything like that before. Our stay was planned and organized with every detail, and, most importantly, the show itself went really smooth…we gathered around 400 kids and the feedback couldn't be disappointing at all. Japanese are fuckin' sick and can seriously kick ass! I'm happy to finally see some following we're finally gaining in this part of the world and it can only keep us motivated.
"After Japan we flew to China, Beijing…we all were moved by this weird vibe that was surrounding us all the time. Even though the next day was beautiful and sunny, we could literally feel there was something heavy and abusing in the air. Before the soundcheck started, we spent some time sightseeing: Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square were overwhelming…these places simply left us breathless. After traditional Chinese lunch, we left to the club. The show took place in a 300 capacity venue called Mao Live Hall (what a name! ha!). This half legal concert was probably one of the most intense performances during this trek. Despite being completely worn out and jetlagged, we spent few hours talking to local fans and signing their merchandise.
"Our stay in China was completed. It was definitely worth goin' to places where metal music is still considered dangerous and almost illegal.
"Next step was Taipei, Taiwan. Very colorful and stimulating place. The show took place in a small bar right in the heart of downtown. Despite a million technical problems, we managed to pull out hell of a show. And even though we gathered the smallest crowd from the whole tour (approximately 200 people), they acted like fuckin' animals, thrashing the stage during every song! Our guitar pedals and effects were torn to pieces…I was pissed off…and happy at the same time. Insane! Our friends from CHTHONIC opened up for us that night and were great tourist guides the next day. Thank you for all the hospitality! Hopefully we can do the whole tour together!
"Indonesia welcomed us with a very humid weather…once we packed our equipment in two vans we were escorted by the local police (!!!) to the hotel and then to the venue. Jakarta was the biggest show, 800 people. Great reaction from the crowd and impressive hospitality couldn't eclipse bad impression we got from notorious technical difficulties on stage. This made it impossible to play well and we all thought our performance was far from solid. Anyway, after what we've seen and experienced, we are definitely coming back to Indonesia 'coz there's still so much more potential to be explored.
"Unfortunately, our last show in Bangkok was cancelled. Organizers still managed to make our schedule both busy and enjoyable. We spent the whole day at press conference and signing session…while the rest of the evening enjoying the entertaining side of Thailand, but this I'm gonna keep confidential ha ha..."
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"Ezkaton", the new EP from BEHEMOTH, sold around 1,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD debuted at No. 26 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"Ezkaton" features seven tracks, one brand new song titled "Qadosh", a live recording as well as a new studio version of "Chant For Ezkaton 2000 e.v.". Also included are live versions of "From The Pagan Vastlands" and "Decade Ov Therion" plus covers of THE RAMONES' "I'm Not Jesus" and the MASTERS HAMMER track "Jama Pekel". The EP was made available as a limited-edition box set that includes four picture-disc seven inches, a BEHEMOTH pendant and the CD all packaged in a deluxe box.