Polish extreme metallers Behemoth have announced their 12th studio album, Opvs Contra Natvram, sharing its destructively bleak first single, Ov My Herculean Exile.
Set for release on September 16 via Nuclear Blast, the album consists of “10 chapters of fury” written over the course of the pandemic. Having no deadline to observe for the first time in their 30-plus-year career allowed for a “nearly unprecedented level of attention to the process of writing and recording”, the band say.
Produced by Behemoth and mixed by renowned engineer Joe Barresi – who has worked with Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains and Avenged Sevenfold, to name a few – Opvs Contra Natvram is a reflection of the band's rebellious, against-the-grain approach to music and the world.
“The album title means going against the current,” says frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski. “It's the negative of the values and morals and ethics that I stand against.
“I've seriously been wrestling with destructive tendencies in pop culture – cancel culture, social media, and tools which I feel are very dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are not competent to judge others. That's something which I find very destructive and disturbing – and extremely limiting coming from an artist's perspective.”
“This is my middle finger to that,” he continues. “There's a song on the record called Neo-Spartacvs. Spartacus was one of the most iconic rebels in history who went against the most powerful empire of all time. In the end, it's me screaming, ‘I am Spartacus, and so are you!’ I want to spark that flame of rebellion. If something seems wrong then stand up to it!”
In typical Behemoth fashion, Ov My Herculean Exile is both grandiose and desolate, hammered into shape by the alternate picking fury of Nergal and his co-guitarist Patryk "Seth" Sztyber, and with a face-melting solo featuring a wealth of speedy descending lines and melodic phrases. Check it out below.
Opvs Contra Natvram will be available in both black and white cover art in a variety of formats, including digital, CD and vinyl in a range of different aesthetics. Take a look at its track list below.
- Post-God Nirvana
- Malaria Vvlgata
- The Deathless Sun
- Ov My Herculean Exile
- Off to War!
- Once Upon a Pale Horse
- Thy Becoming Eternal
- Versvs Christvs