Behemoth's 'In Absentia Dei' transforms the live streaming experience - Knotfest
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Behemoth’s ‘In Absentia Dei’ transforms the live streaming experience

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Performances on September 7, 2020

The black metal stalwarts exceeded expectations with a fiery production that will endure as a career milestone.

There is an added element of mystique that makes Behemoth such a compelling band within the ranks of metal music. When they announced their immersive live streaming performance, In Absentia Dei, even the venue for the broadcast served well in nurturing that mystique.

Rather than selecting a theater or traditional venue that worked well with the aesthetic of the music, the band traverse the difficulties of securing a now secular church in Poland – a tedious task in a country that holds religion in high regard.

The setting would become an essential element for a live streaming event that has arguably redefined the limits of a live music experience. Thus far, the cameras have managed to capture detailed productions and unique vantage points for an audience, however, In Absentia Dei created another world that truly met, and exceeded the commonly overused ‘immersive’ label.

In Absentia Dei was the band’s effort to pivot in lieu of live concerts. The result was something that arguably, has set a new bar for the live music experience moving forward.

Surrounded by an inferno of pyro, cloaked in all black, and fashioning a church altar into center stage, Behemoth’s stylized blasphemy propelled the live streaming platform into a lush cinematic world that conveyed an ominously beautiful translation in it’s celebration of the occult.

The performance itself was comprised of four acts and included a collection of songs that served well in chronicling Behemoth’s expansive catalog. The band’s earliest offerings like “From the Pagan Vastlands” were coupled with essentials like “Ov Fire and the Void” to create a black metal soundtrack befitting the black mass.

From the pulpit, Nergal asserted a presence that was equally compelling and commanding. While his creative vision was on full display, Nergal’s ability to articulate as a frontman and galvanize his audience was as impressive as his ability to create such a lush visual production.

“Despite the challenges we face, and the plagues we endure, we gather here tonight in this unholy church in celebration of black metal magic. We are together, and together we shall conquer all…”

An important component in executing such an ambitious production, the quality of the sound and 4k resolution served well in completing a sensory experience that livestreams should aspire to. The flames, the body suspension, and the celebratory sacrilege happening somewhere in the Polish countryside, all translated with vivid beauty on the screen.

Rather than treating the platform as a substitute for the conventional live performance, Behemoth has engineered another means of presentation that will endure long after the world rotates to some sense of normalcy. The same way that the music video gave rise to a new era of artists that understood the importance of a visual companion, Behemoth have mastered a new element of their repertoire that plainly asserts that they are one of the most complete artists in any genre.


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