Behemoth - _Crush.Fukk.Create_
(Regain Records, 2004)
by: T. DePalma (
This two-disc DVD set comes with characteristic quality packaging, swathed in suitably organic and vile artwork, with a fourteen page photo booklet and expected hagiography of the band up to the present. Disc one is comprised of two uninterrupted concerts as well as the music videos for "As Above So Below" and "Christians to the Lions". Usually, the most entertaining concert videos are those that are shot professionally enough to capture the scope of the venue as well as transport the viewer on stage with the band themselves. The production quality of the first show ("Party San Festival 2003") horribly sidesteps this formula, for the most part favoring a shoddy camera rig in back of the crowd, giving a full stage shot, with occasional close-ups on stage, still marred by cheesy slow motion frames that are introduced repeatedly, always to an awkwardly distracting conclusion -- save this type of amateur shit for bar-mitzvahs and public access television. The line-up for this show features Nergal, Havoc, Inferno and new bassist Orion. The performance and set list are decent, although the sound quality leaves more to be desired. Behemoth closes out the show with an encore of "Pure Evil and Hate" that actually feels more exciting than anything occurring before, perhaps for its briefly nostalgic riffing, perhaps for the pyro which shortly annihilates the bloated red stage lighting as the band starts thrashing following Nergal's call to "see some fuckin' riots"; either way this show is pretty lame, and may leave some feeling this release is already anticlimactic.The second concert, "Live at the Mystic Festival 2001", begins somewhat abruptly as the band drills through "Christians to the Lions", captured with infinitely more professional camera work that -- despite the re-appearance of the mitzvah cam and some odd focus shots -- enhances the show till its climax. Splendid pans and crystal clear close-ups feel as if as much effort was put into the filming and editing as into the outside packaging. The sound and performance are equal to the visual upgrade, and as the setting sun creates a ceiling of darkened night over Behemoth's set, a polarized disc one ends its final half in a gratifying show.Disco two features the documentary "Speak With the Devil" and begins with Nergal sitting casually on the floor with tea candles and a hookah, discussing the origin of the band (cut to a shot of a baby-face Nergal recording vocal and solo tracks in 1994). There is some discussion of influences; early live clips and footage of Behemoth's first tour follow. From here on, the documentary basically turns into a Pantera-style film diary with the band and sound engineer Malta, featuring plenty of pranks (Novy seems to be the band's whipping boy most of the time, leading up to a hilarious spell of cataleptic shit-talking later on) as well as bowls of vomit, alcohol, balls and bare ass (no tits).While performing, the band holds an aura of rock stardom; their theatrical brand of performance is not quite over the top, yet still can't shake a hint of choreography to it. Much of the footage here frames the band completely demystified: silly and down-to-earth off stage; stupid, frankly. But it provides an entertaining jackass-esque 90 minutes of metalheads interacting within and out of their habitat.
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