Behemoth’s Nergal Supports ‘Imperfection’ In Metal Music

Perfection is something many bands who have stepped into the music world are looking for in instrumentation, vocals, production, etc. However, judging from his latest interview with Australia’s Heavy, Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski thinks that imperfection is not a disadvantage but is instead what makes any piece of music unique and beautiful.

“Every band these days, you talk to every band, and every band, literally, heavy metal band, thrash, death, whatever, says, ‘Oh, we managed to get that organic sound,’” the frontman said before complaining about the current attitude of the metal scene. “And then I go and listen to those records, and I’m, like, ‘There’s nothing organic about this record.’ Ninety-nine percent of the records, they sound robotic. Every f*cking click, every kick, every snare drum, every part of the record is exactly the same. It’s not organic.”

He continued, “‘Organic’ is when music fluctuates, when there’s dynamics, when it goes up and down. That’s why we tapped Joe Barresi. You know him for his work with Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, Monster Magnet, and a lot of rock bands. Slipknot… Basically, rock bands, mainstream bands. And he does this old-school mixing.”

“He doesn’t use Pro Tools. I mean, he uses Pro Tools, but then, when he’s done with one song, he just pulls all the knobs down and starts from scratch,” Adam happily noted. “You go, ‘Hey, but I wanted to do some tweaks in the previous one.’ ‘Sorry, it’s done.’ You’ve got to pay for everything again. So [when] it’s done, it’s done. You don’t endlessly go and correct that, which is beautiful. Twenty, thirty years ago, it was done that way.”

The Behemoth icon further explained, “These days, you can f*cking perfect things to the point that you cannot f*cking listen to it, because the perfection makes things boring, imperfect, and a whole lot uninteresting. Live, it’s not perfect; that’s why it’s so f*cking exciting. So why make things that are just so f*cking polished? I don’t get it, especially in extreme metal music. It’s gotta be f*cking weird, it’s gotta be dangerous. Where is the danger factor? So I really wanted to bring the danger factor back to our music. It was present, but maybe this is the record [where] it’s the most present ever.”

Perfection and faultlessness in music have actually been discussed for a very long time. Especially with the increased use of technology in the game, making a piece of music sound flawless is not as difficult. In the past, many bands only had one shot, and they gave it their all when they entered the studio. So, being good in the ‘moment’ was important. But now it’s easy to correct a wrong note and bring a track closer to perfect with just a few keys on the computer.

Thus, it can be argued that these tweaks can enhance the listening experience. On the other hand, it also feels like it takes the human element out of music, which is vulnerability to error. Of course, the question doesn’t have a correct answer; it’s about precisely what you expect from music. Perfection vs. uniqueness of the moment: two sides that have been fighting since technology came into the game!