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Behemoth and cancel culture. Nergal on Shakespeare’s boycott, Tokarczuk and a new music video

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Behemoth, active since the early 1990s, both in the visual and textual layer, and in the case of the leader of the group, Nergal, also privately, liked to provoke. Although the term cancel culture was practically non-existent at the time, the band felt the effects of their actions many times. However, it cannot be broken.

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Can you erase Shakespeare’s works?

The group’s newest release, “Opvs Contra Natvram”, was promoted by Mystic Production with a perverse recording, on which an outraged woman tears off the posters advertising the album. The lyrics of the song “Versvs Christvs”, for which the music video recently had its premiere, refer to the attempts to erase artists from public awareness.

Philosophy, Satanism, archaic prayers and Latin interjections – in lyrical terms, Behemoth’s new album released on September 16 does not differ from its predecessors. There are also references to famous characters. On “Opvs Contra Natvram” appear, for example, Sisyphus and Spartacus (“Neo-Spartacvs”). The latter was named by Nergal as “one of the greatest rebels in history.” The text of “Versvs Christvs” also includes Copernicus who is to be blinded, Cicero, whose tongue needs to be cut off, and Shakespeare, who will be stoned to death. In an interview for “Teraz Rock” magazine, Nergal explained what was the fault of the Stratford-upon-Avon poet. The fragment devoted to it refers partly to the history of an American university, when, on the wave of cancel culture, students decided to boycott the works of the creator of “Hamlet”, because by modern standards it is not “decent” enough.

Somewhere in America, a group of students rebelled and said they would not read Shakespeare because he was a violent, a misogynist, which is against decency. In short, it is not politically correct, so it needs to be ‘skimmed’. Hearing that chilled me

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– he explains in a conversation. Earlier, the artist explained that the title of the album itself is intended to express opposition to destructive trends in contemporary pop culture and social media.

The musician shares the views of the Nobel Prize winner

Nergal supports her view of cancel culture in the words of Olga Tokarczuk, who was also hit by critics due to the statement about the elitism of literature during the Mountain of Literature festival.

Tokarczuk wrote that we are threatened with the plague of literalism, i.e. interpreting art and the world literally, without reflection. We cannot so unequivocally assess the stories and artists who created in other eras. Maybe I’m a boomer, but I just don’t understand such behavior and find it extremely dangerous. These are the fruits of a lack of education and flexible thinking. Today we quickly draw conclusions and evaluate quickly

– thinks.

The track itself is crucial for the album – it acts as a closing composition with more delicate piano parts or clean vocals. The music video, which premiered on September 21, was announced by the musician as “the crown jewel”. He also announced that it is the result of a new collaboration. The band worked for the first time with a Polish woman, Agata Alexander, who lives in Los Angeles. Nergal calls her “an amazing director whose vision and execution have brought a spectacular result.” He also thanked Grupa 13, assisting on the set.

The music video can be viewed on YouTube.

Source: Gazeta

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