Nergal’s Faith Partially Restored in Mankind as he Battles Leukemia
On Aug. 25, Behemoth's label delivered a bombshell. Metal Blade said the band's frontman, Adam 'Nergal' Darski, suffers from leukemia, a form of cancer affecting blood-forming tissues in the bone marrow, and is in desperate need of a bone-marrow transplant.
In a bone marrow transplant, stem cells are removed from a healthy bone, filtered and then inserted into the afflicted bone in order to combat the disease. However, even with siblings, bone marrow types only match around 25 percent of the time, and finding two unrelated people with matching bone marrow is even rarer, which often requires patients to search through an international bone marrow donor registry database.
Darski is currently receiving treatment in the hematology division of Gdansk Medical University Hospital in Poland and has already undergone his first round of chemotherapy and other procedures while waiting for a donor with complementary bone marrow. Those who wish to help Darski and others suffering from leukemia should set up a marrow drive or register to be a bone marrow donor. Every person that registers to be a donor increases the chances of survival for Darski and others suffering from the same illness. For more information, you can visit the National Marrow Donor Program website.
Since the news spread about his condition, the metal community has flooded Darski with praise and kind words. Originally, Behemoth's frontman had no intention of making a statement, however the support he received prompted him to comment.
"Regarding my personal low opinion of humankind, I'm shocked by the reaction to my illness," he said. "I actually expected nothing, yet received feedback which surpassed all expectations. I want to ensure you I read each mail I receive, although I'm unable to reply to all of them."
In addition to being surprised by the response from fans, Darski said he's been strengthened by it. "The power of your words is pure magic and I thank you all for it. You are a gigantic indestructible army that truly inspires me in this difficult time."
Doctors have predicted that Darski's battle with leukemia will not be short and may last for "many, many months." The extreme metal icon said he will spend most of this time in the hospital going through "various pychophysical states." Strengthened by the support of his fans and the awareness of his ordeal, he is ready to fight to survive.
"If you know the history of Behemoth you also know we achieved everything by hard work and a steely determination," he said. "The same goes for my private life. I happen to be a strong son of a b----. I have no faith but rely on a 100 percent victory and I am sure I will get out of it stronger than ever. Sun Tzu in his 'Art of War' said that if you know your enemy and yourself the result of a thousand battles will not surprise you ... I enter the ring with this Nietzschean attitude and I will leave it as a winner, as usual. Just watch and see."
While the responses he has received from fans and the reports that many of them registering to be bone marrow donors has restored some of his faith in mankind, Darski emphasized that his illness has definitely not awakened any belief in God and scoffs at people on the Internet who've predicted the Bememoth frontman will experience a religious awakening.
"I was surprised to hear my illness became a pretext for some people to embark on their own crusade," He said. "Opinions suggesting I might come closer to God or abandon my ideals and grovel to the only correct worldview in this country not only surprised but also frightened me. This is a typical example of supporting one's own views by preying on someone's misfortune. 'He fell ill so he will convert to Christianity, he will discover the religion he fought against is actually close to him.' Halt! Why should the illness change my point of view?
"It is true this is a difficult time for me and the thoughts of ultimate matters are hard to chase away. But the idea that I will change my opinions, priorities and values as a consequence of my illness sounds as if someone regards my head, and not my body, ill. Suggesting I might convert [is] ridiculous. To what would I convert? After all, I know Christian mythology pretty well, not only in its literary version, and I find nothing good, creative or beautiful in it. I read books better and wiser than the Bible. War, blood, blackmail, rapes, incest, pedophilia, zoophilia, collaboration and treachery -- each page emanates with evil.
"Some may say I don't understand the message of the Bible. I'd rather say [that] Christianity is nothing more than a rusty and archaic structure that is going to fall down any moment. It lasts only because of the gullible that follow the shepherd blindly; without any questions, without any consideration, not to any promised land, but to an intellectual slaughter. So, I say to those, who see some chances to break my rules, and myself because of the illness: over my dead body!"
In addition to updating Behemoth fans on his condition, Nergal revealed the band's plans to release the three-disc DVD titled 'Evangelika Heretika' in November. "It's a real encyclopedia of Behemoth with nearly five hours of material and a bonus audio CD that will be out in November," he said. "Expect an experience of visual madness as we went to hell and back to make it."
In addition, early next year Metal Blade will reissue Behemoth EPs with new art work, bonus tracks, liner notes and more. "As you can see, despite a complicated situation and difficult circumstances we're remaining active wherever we can," Darski said.
Noisecreep wishes Darski a swift recovery and a strong return to the metal community.