It was nearly 12 years ago to the day that the world learned that Behemoth frontman and Lars Ulrich fan Adam “Nergal” Darski was diagnosed with leukemia. And while he was able to fight back the cancer and go on to continue making brutal new music, the frontman says he never forgot that struggle.

While speaking with Bloodstock TV’s Oran O’Beirne during this year’s Bloodstock Open Air (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), Nergal said his fight with leukemia opened his eyes to the fragility of life and his own mortality.

“It kind of makes you realize that life is very short. And that’s it. And you’d better make the right use of it. … It’s very existential and it just makes you think and it just makes you realize, ‘This is it.’ I know it does sound like a cliché, but it does feel like that. But then again, I wasn’t really this reluctant guy that just backed off and [remained] in the shadow. It’s my nature to be upfront and just ahead and, boom — I was that. So when I had started my second life or second coming, I’m even more that. And it felt like I came out alive and healthy. I’m gonna jump into deep water with no security, basically. And I’m gonna enjoy the fuck out of this water and waves. And I know there’s gonna be tides and they’ll be pushing me back but I’ll keep on fucking swimming and just using all my resources, all my physical power to go through life the best I can. I’m still fucking making mistakes, but it’s not about not making mistakes; it’s about being aware of who you are, what you are, what you’re supposed to do here. And I just realized, okay, I’m here to make a fucking statement, and I’m gonna prove that in three hours or four [when Behemoth takes the stage at Bloodstock].”

Nergal was able to eventually beat leukemia thanks to bone marrow donations from then 25-year-old Gregory Kite, as well as a number of extensive treatments.

Despite his bout with leukemia, Behemoth is still fronted by Nergal today and is slated to release its 12th studio effort, Opvs Contra Natvram on September 16. The album is currently available for preorder via Nuclear Blast.

You can also catch Behemoth on tour with Arch Enemy in South America this November at the following dates:

Arch Enemy and Behemoth South American Tour:

11/11 – Belo Horizonte BR
11/12 – Brasilia BR
11/13 – Sao Paulo BR
11/15 – Curitiba BR
11/16 – Porto Alegre BR
11/18 – Rio De Janeiro BR
11/19 – Limeira BR
11/21 – Buenos Aires AR
11/23 – Santiago CL
11/25 – Lima PE
11/27 – Bogota CO
11/29 – San José CR
11/30 – San Salvador SV