Behemoth: Thou Art Darkest Exhibition

The faithful devotees of the kvlt of Behemoth came to sing and rejoice at the marvel that is the artwork exhibition from their recent album I Loved You At Your Darkest (Metal Blade). Beginning with Gdansk, and carrying on to Berlin, London, Warsaw, and now in New York, before heading to Los Angeles later this month, the traveling exhibition is an immersive experience into the passion and pain wrought in these works of art, correlating to the music of ILYAYD. We were treated to a viewing of these amazing paintings and sculptures, the creators and models themselves, a Behemoth documentary, and some great Behemoth beer. All of this took place at Last Rites Gallery, home to the legendary tattoo artist, musician and creative genius Paul Booth. Ghost Cult attended a preview night last Friday, before the public opening, the same night as Behemoth’s sold out show at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square.

Like any trip to Last Rites, the artwork for Thou Art Darkest was captivating, emotional, trippy, and full of religious symbolism also found in the music of Behemoth. While some of the devout might find these works blasphemous, I found them stimulating and definitely gave me some deep insight into the band, and the lyrics of frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski. Created in the classical style of visuals from the Renaissance era art and to a lesser extent, the Byzantine era of painting and sculpture, the images are visceral, evoking the fantastic and the horribleness of religiosity all at once. Both artists Sylvia Markris and Tomasz Gornicki were on hand to chat and hang out, as was amazing model Melanie Gaydos who could not be more lovely and accommodating when asked about her contributions as a muse for many of these works.

At the main event after the show Saturday night the crowd swelled as everyone hung out drinking their Behemoth beer, Wolf Ov Siberia from distinctive cans. Brewed by Kings County Brewers (KCB) the beer was smooth and drinkable, not too hoppy for an IPA, with no aftertaste and a nice kick with a decently high ABV level. The band hung out and took selfies with fans and everyone, also happy to chat about this amazing collaborative effort. Behemoth is not just a sound, one person’s ideas, or a theme. The reason the band has transcended genres of heavy music is they bring all of these elements together to jostle all the senses and make your brain work.

WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY OMAR CORDY OF OJC PHOTOGRAPHY