Behemoth’s Nergal emerges in the guise of Me And That Man in the follow up to the Vol. 1 album of the same name.
Release Date: 19th November 2021
Label: Napalm Records
Format: CD / digital /
Taking a break from the day job and heading in, what relatively speaking, is a much lighter direction, Behemoth’s Nergal enlists a team of all-star guests for his third Me And That Man album. OK, so he may still be on nodding terms with the Devil, but with this project, he maintains the ominous presence with dark folk/blues/Americana influences in a more restrained, yet still intense enough, offering.
As the album title suggests, the new work comes as a sequel to 2020’s Vol. 1 of the same name, arguably taken to a new level. The four piece band that includes Łukasz Kumański, Matteo Bassoli and Sasha Boole, all decked out in matching cowboy hats, is supplemented by a guest list of epic proportions. Gary Holt (Slayer, Exodus), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God), Myrkur, Devin Townsend, David Vincent, Doug Blair (W.A.S.P), Hank von Hell (Turbonegro) and Olve Abbath Eikemo (Immortal, Abbath) all make their contributions to the album’s mesmerising collection of sombre anthems.
The tone is set with the grand eloquence of opener Black Hearse Cadillac, featuring the vocals of Hank von Hell and guitar wizardry by Anders Odden, in a tune that conjures the Gothic darkness of Nick Cave given a touch of evil lyricism. Not for the first time either – check out Year Of The Snake and you wouldn’t dismiss thoughts of a Cave/Nergal collaboration… The sense of the shape shifting beast suggested by the Gothic noir spaghetti Western drama in the pummelling rhythms of Under The Spell is increased with a bluesy Americana vibe as if to emphasise the fact that we’re some distance from the world of extreme Metal normally occupied by Nergal.
One might even argue that Blaze Bayley might have found a new niche with his cameo on All Hope Is Gone. Just like his boss, the chance to explore a sonic area far removed from his comfort zone brings out the best in him. This notion of tapping into unknown forms starts to emerge as the key theme. The low key, extremely rustic and organic Blues & Cocaine with its pleas to Jesus, would be right at home on a wax cylinder recording with overdriven voices and guitar; while it may be really rootsy stuff I can’t help but recall T Rex…
Songs like wicked Witches Don’t Fall In Love featuring Kristoffer Rygg/Ulver, and the hauntingly mysterious and soulful Goodbye – with a powerful and impassioned vocal by Alissa White-Gluz – are further evidence of the record’s extensive variety and the ever present feeling that there’s something unexpected lurking around every corner. Add songs like the blues-rock ballad Angel Of Light featuring the outstanding presence of Myrkur (great choice), or the insanely explosive, uptempo psych rock from Chris Georgiadis of Turbowolf on Devil’s Got Your Tongue and the transformation from fearsome Metal Lord is complete.
A simple message for anyone who’s never heard Me And That Man before. Abandon any sort of preconceptions about the associations with Behemoth. Yes, we get Nergal in a very different musical light, but one that remains strictly on the dark side. With its predecessor, Vol. 2 makes up a formidable pairing.
Here’s Angel Of Light with Myrkur: