Many touring bands today enjoy their seldom “days off” while on the road. Every once in a while, a touring band will use these days off and turn them into one-off shows nearby to their trek. Abbath provided Boston with such an occasion, a day before the first official stop on the tour they were supporting. Add in a few solid local openers inside a smaller venue such as The Sinclair and you have quite the show for a Tuesday night! Continue reading
Here at Ghost Cult Magazine, we all vote on our favorite albums each year. Just a couple short years ago, Behemothhad won with one of their best to date, The Satanist (Nuclear Blast). On April, 24th, 2016, I and the rest of the Boston crowd at the Royale were able to see Behemoth play this masterpiece from front to back at the “Blasfemia Amerika Tour”. Simply mentioning “it was an experience” just simply will not do.
Before getting to Behemoth’s set, we did have an opening band to get us started. The one woman black metal project, Myrkur, hit the stage ready to kickoff what promised to be a great night. Amalie Bruun is the only contributing artist to the project, but she did obviously have some help with a few other musicians (guitarist, bassist, and drummer). One of the strangest moments of the set is when I realized the bassist was no+ne other than Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan! The set list was comprised of mostly tracks from the one full length album, M (Relapse), that Myrkur have to offer. Song by song, Amalie moved from guitar to keyboards and from one microphone to the other as her vocals would change mid song from clean to harsh. Finally, Myrkur ended the set with Amalie alone on stage at the keyboard performing a Bathory cover of ‘Song to Hall Up High’ to the fan’s praise.
Finally, after a short break, Behemoth hit the stage with the sounds of ‘Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel’. With each passing song on The Satanist, there were strange videos being played on either side of drummer, Inferno, to really set the mood. At one point in the show, frontman Nergal made his way over a makeshift bridge of sorts from the stage, over the photographers’ pit, and literally into the first row or so of fans. In his hand was a silver goblet, filled with offerings to the fans, his own Holy Communion waffers! The final few in the goblet were lifted above our heads as Nergal crushed them into pieces and threw them into the air in defiance. After the ever epic, ‘O Father! O Satan! O Sun!’, the band made their way to the back briefly but then returned for a second shorter set that kicked off with old classics ‘Pure Evil and Hate’ and ‘Antichristian Phenomenon’. Other hits such as ‘Conquer All’ and ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ were also played to the fans’ delight. But, like all good things, the show came to an end with closer ‘Chant for Eschaton 2000’, complete with projectile blood shots on to the front row from Nergal, Orion, and Seth. With this live show, Behemoth has once again proven why they are atop the metaphorical pedestal of extreme music and have no plans of letting any other bands share that space.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN
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Every year there are highly-anticipated annual tours and every year many of them put together not so great lineups. When it comes to The Decibel Magazine Tour, I am happy to say that each year is a killer lineup and this year was no different. On April 14th, 2016, the Boston, MA crowd at Royale in the theatre district received quite a treat via artists: Tribulation, Skeletonwitch, High on Fire, and the legendary Abbath. From start to finish, this show is setting the bar high for the rest of the annual tour circuits.
Tribulation kicked off the night to quite an ovation for even an opening band. Fortunately, these guys have been around quite a bit supporting bands of all sorts and have constructed quite a second home in the Boston area. Although it was a short set, a majority was tracks from their latest, and arguably best album, The Children of the Night (Century Media Records). Opener ‘Strange Gateways Beckon’ starts off the set with a bang and then comes full circle a short while later with ‘Holy Libations’. Although only five songs in the set, it seemed just right to get warmed up for the rest of the night.
After a quick set up, Skeletonwitch was on the stage destroying the crowds with riff after riff. The biggest part of the set was to see how new vocalist, Adam Clemans, did replacing former vocalist, Chance Garnette. I was very pleased with what Adam brings for the table and I look forward to what comes next for the group. As for the set, the Boston crowd received mostly tracks from the latest full-length, Serpents Unleashed (Prosthetic Records), such as ‘From a Cloudless Sky’ , ‘Beneath Dead Leaves’ , and one of my favorites, ‘Burned From Bone’. The other half of the set was a mixed bag between a couple of albums including tracks like ‘Chock Upon Betrayal’ and ‘Beyond the Permafrost’.
Due up next was the return of Matt Pike and High on Fire. Regardless of what band he is touring with, it is always a privilege to watch Matt lay down some serious riffs. With a new album dropping less than a year ago, Luminiferous (Entertainment One), it wasn’t a surprise to catch mostly new tracks like ‘The Black Plot’ and ‘The Falconist’. However, the group did touch upon every other album in their discography once to provide a full cornucopia of their sound. Some of my favorites of the night were classics such as ‘Fertile Green’ , ‘Rumors of War’, ‘Blood From Zion’, and the closer (and usually fan favorite), ‘Snakes for the Divine’.
Finally, it was time for the almighty Abbath to grave the stage with his iconic corpse paint and silly faces. For years I wanted to see Abbath up on stage with his former group, Immortal, and play some classic black metal tracks. Fortunately, Abbath was the true force behind Immortal anyways, and his set was equally Immortal tracks as there were Abbath solo tracks. Not to discredit the solo material, Abbath (Season of Mist), was one of the earlier albums to come out this year, yet still finds its way into my playlists. From this record, we got to see songs including ‘To War!’ , ‘Winter Bane’ , ‘Fenrir Hunts’ , and ‘Root of the Mountain’. From the Immortal side of the set list, ‘One by One’, ‘Solarfall’, ‘All Shall Fall’, and closer ‘In My Kingdom Cold’. There was not a dull moment in the entire set and it was everything I had hoped for, including Abbath on stage. In fact, this entire tour package did not have a weak point at all outside of the short delays in between sets. Decibel, once again, has cemented themselves as one of the leading annual tours once again.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN
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Over the course of the past year or so, many metal heads in the New England area have went from never seeing the great King Diamond, to seeing the master twice in a short few months. However, November 24th was a night that will stick out to all fans whether this was the third time, fifth time, or even the first time seeing King. This time around, we were all treated to the entire Abigail album from front to back, live right in front of our very eyes. As if that was not sweet enough the thrash titans, Exodus, were slated to open the night and get everyone up out of the Orpheum seats.
Exodus kicked off the night to a fair mix of old and new tracks to get all of the fans, young and old, warmed up for what promised to be a great night. The Boston crowd enjoyed newer tracks from the thrash legends including: ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ , ‘Body Harvest’ , and ‘Blacklist’. The longer tenured fans of course got the typical (of late) three track closing rotation of ‘Bonded by Blood’ , ‘The Toxic Waltz’ , and ‘Strike of the Beast’. The only downside of the performance was the inability to actually do the Toxic Waltz while standing in place amongst the rows of seats.
After a short intermission, and ‘The Wizard’ by Uriah Heep over the PA, King Diamond and his cohorts made their way to the stage. King started off the set with a short selection of King Diamond classics like ‘Welcome Home’ , one of my favorites ‘Halloween’ , and ‘Eye of the Witch’. Of course, what would be a King Diamond show without some Mercyful Fate covers? King was happy to oblige with staple ‘Come to the Sabbath’ and a slight change to the usual covers with the epic ‘Melissa’. And then it started, ‘Funeral’ over the PA while the band switched out instruments. It was time for Abigail! Druids came out with a casket with the infant corpse of Abigail inside to which King was happy to hold up the crowd in praise. Track by track the story of Abigail went. From ‘Arrival’ and ‘The Family Ghost’ to ‘Omens’ and ‘Abigail’, the Boston metal heads sang/screeched (and I mean screeched out those falsettos) each and every lyric to each song. But, like all great things, ‘Black Horsemen’ had come and gone as the band said their goodbyes, threw out guitar pics, and made their exit until the next time.
Most would say seeing any band three times in a year is too much. Some days I may even agree to that sentiment, but not towards King Diamond. Even if this was not the Abigail Tour and just another headlining run for the King and Company, I would still have gone. If you have yet to make it to a King Diamond show, you should feel bad and then catch the next one!
WORDS BYTIM LEDIN
While the fall progresses forward and nature around us slowly dies leading up to another New England winter, nothing seems as appropriate as that of a doom metal show. The Brighton Music Hall was once again the site of another memorable show, this time consisting of Sea of Bones, Lord Almighty, Black Cobra, and YOB. The show was so heavy that I was able to go next door for a slice of pizza and know when a band was sound checking and then playing just from how hard the walls were vibrating. The only downside to such a low-end rich show is the drive home when all I wanted to do was go to sleep from the therapeutic doom riffs felt all night.
Sea of Bones kicked off the night to which I can only say was jaw dropping. Previously, I had never heard anything by the group, but was pleasantly surprised with how heavy they got. A nice mix of doom, drone, sludge, and dashes of Neurosis as well as Author & Punisher all came to mind while experiencing Sea of Bones for the first time. I will certainly be catching Sea of Bones the next time I can.
Local heroes, Lord Almighty, came on next and showcased as much of their full-length début album, Paths, as they could in their relatively short set. The progressive black metal outfit certainly made new fans this evening from all the doom fans in-house for YOB and Sea of Bones as well as the fans who like it a bit faster such as Black Cobra. Boston, once again, can be proud knowing that the city keeps pumping out some seriously fun and interesting heavy metal bands.
Similar to Sea of Bones, I had never given Black Cobra the time of day, but had heard their name in passing. Regardless of my ignorance to this band, I quickly became a fan of their up tempo doom riffs and pounding drumming. Also, the sound that is generated out of just these two musicians was truly amazing. From down the street you would anticipate that the band playing had five or six guys with multiple guitarists, let alone one guitarist/vocalist and a drummer. Also adding into the instant fan spell that was placed on me, I found Black Cobra to be quite similar to a long time favorite of mine in High on Fire.
Just when I thought the night could not get any better, out came the guys from YOB to absolutely crush my soul. This having been my third time seeing the Oregon doom threesome this year, I had a good feel of what to expect on the set list. Staple opener, ‘Ball of Molten Lead’ got all heads banging together. ‘In Our Blood’ and ‘Marrow’ were also in the rotation as per the usual off of their latest (and maybe greatest), Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot). Some may call it a little much, but I could honestly see YOB live again between now and February 2016 even if that makes it four times in a calendar year. There is just something else that YOB delivers that no other doom bands seem to have. Regardless, another amazing night for heavy music in the Brighton/Allston area which could not make me any happier!
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN
There is always a little bit of self pride when you follow a band from their small venue first set of shows with one album to headlining a bigger sized stage in the city. On September, 28th I got that same feeling seeing Ghost headline at the House of Blues in Boston, MA. Purson started off the night with a bang and Ghost closed out the night (almost) flawlessly. This would be my third ritual with The Nameless Ghouls and their leader, Papa Emeritus III, and they are arguably at their best yet.
Purson hit the stage first with their psychedelic rock that got a solid reaction from the Boston crowd. The set consisted of mostly tracks from The Circle and the Blue Door with opening/closing tracks from In the Meantime. A couple of my favorites were ‘Rocking Horse’ , ‘Spiderwood Farm’ , ‘Well Spoiled Machine’ , and ‘Wanted Man’. After this short set, I definitely have my mind on obtaining those two albums.
Then after what felt like forever, the ritual had begun. Ghost took to the stage opening with the first track off of latest release, Meliora, entitled ‘Spirit’. Track staples such as ‘Ritual’ , ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ , ‘Per Aspera ad Inferi’ , ‘Year Zero’ , and closer/encore, ‘Monstrance Clock’ obviously made the 19-song set list. Other new tracks included ‘From the Pinnacle to the Pit’ , ‘Cirice’ , ‘He Is’ , ‘Mummy Dust’ , and ‘Majesty’. The latter of those tracks actually received an introduction by Papa and he actually spoke to my girlfriend and mentioned that “someone dragged (her) here” which was an equally amazing yet hilarious moment in the show. Another funny moment was Ghost actually messed up the opening to ‘Prime Mover’ and Papa got the crowd to help them through a second attempt. Hey no one is perfect right? We also saw a change in outfits by Papa Emeritus into something a bit more comfortable, but still staying classy. If that surprise was not good enough for the Boston crowd, ‘Jigolo Har Megiddo’ was played acoustically and became quite a catchy sing-a-long. However, nothing lasts forever and Ghost made their leave until the next ritual.
Having first seen this band play with minimal stage props, set list, costumes, and audience, I am proud of this band. A lot of people can only say that Ghost is not original or is a stupid gimmick. And hey, people are entitled to that opinion. Personally, this band is a fresh air for heavy metal which is simply drowning in seas of “same old same old” from many of today’s leading metal bands. It is simple after all because if you have ghosts, you have everything.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN