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Skaldic Curse was a band from UKBMs early 2000’s heyday, featuring members of Fen, Akercocke, and other contemporaries. Sadly, defunct after their second album World Suicide Machine I must admit I was rather surprised to see this album in my inbox for review as they officially split up back in 2011. Continue reading
Mayhem – 3-31-2018
Fete Music Hall, Providence RI
by Daniel Nyman Photography Continue reading
On January 11th, the Royale Boston, known for their dance club nights, was transformed into the command center of 2015’s “Black Metal Warfare” tour. Revenge, Mayhem, and Watain put together a great first show in the New England area for this year. For me, this was an obvious show to attend as I had never heard of Revenge prior, never saw Mayhem live, and have enjoyed Watain live shows twice prior and was itching for more. After waiting out in the cold winter air, I made my way inside, up front, and ready for whatever was to come out on stage.
First up was the opening band from Canada, Revenge. Having heard quite a bit of hype over this band, and with all of their fans decked out in their merchandise, I was expecting to be wowed. Unfortunately, unlike many other opening bands I was not aware of the past few years, Revenge did not really tickle my fancy as some would say. The music itself seemed very repetitive across the entire set and I was not sure exactly how many songs they actually played. Having said that, most of the crowd was very much enjoying the show which I can respect. It’s one thing to create enjoyable music, but it’s even more important to have an engaging and an enjoyable live show. I look forward to possibly seeing Revenge again, maybe the second time is a charm.
Due up second was the first of two co-headliners, the infamous Mayhem. Surprising to me, Mayhem actually kept the majority of the setlist to their first two big releases, Deathcrush and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Such tracks included: ‘Buried by Time and Dust,’ ‘Freezing Moon’, ‘Chainsaw Gutsfuck’, and ‘Pure Fucking Armageddon’ as the closer. We also got a couple from Chimera as well as one track each from Grand Declaration of War and Wolf’s Lair Abyss. You read that right, there were zero tracks from the new release, Esoteric Warfare. Bold move, Mayhem. As for the presence on stage, and the great lighting, I was mostly delighted with Mayhem’s live show even though I would not consider myself a big fan of Mayhem. Seeing Hellhammer in general brought a smile to my face as he is easily in my Top 10 favorite heavy metal drummers. Not to take anything away from Necrobutcher either, a true living legend. Attila, on the other hand, seemed more comedic to me than grim, or kvlt if you will. With the shaggy mohawk, corny corpse paint with silly looking satanic symbols, and of course the skull he continued to sing to, I could barely hold in my laughter at times. Not trying to down play Mayhem at all although! If I had to rate Mayhem’s performance out of 10, I would say they made a solid 8 performance which was much higher than my expectations were set.
Last but not least is the mysterious Swedish tribe known as Watain. Always being big on theatrics and stage show, this time around I was even farther impressed with the stage set. Watain flags, the typical upside down iron crosses, and the altar where Erik performs his strange rituals were already eye-catching. However, the two skeletons locked up in torture chambers and nailed to crosses pushed the envelope even closer to the edge that the looks of horror from the unsuspecting venue security were priceless! The Uppsala natives did a great job at spreading out their setlist across all five full length releases (3 from Lawless Darkness, Sworn to the Dark, The Wild Hunt; 2 from Casus Luciferi; 1 from Rabid Death’s Curse). Personally I was happy to hear some of my favorites such as ‘Death’s Cold Dark’, ‘Total Funeral’, ‘The Wild Hunt’, and ‘Malfeitor’. As if that was enough, I finally got to see ‘I Am the Earth’ live which is arguably my favorite song. One of the best moments of the night was when Erik came out from the backstage area, holding what appeared to be a goat skull above his head. He came right up to the front of the stage, and in one quick motion, swung the skull from left to right which spewed some sort of animal blood across the front row of fans. After now seeing Watain twice as headline and once as a co-headline, I am more than happy to say this black metal band is for real, regardless of what other black metal elitists may say about them.
Overall, a great show to kickoff the 2015 year! It is not every day that a strong Black Metal line up comes strolling through New England so I knew getting to this show was a must. Outside of seeing Watain, I was able to see the legendary Mayhem and also catch a new up and coming black metal band in Revenge. The question now is did Watain and Mayhem set the bar high enough to maintain a top spot in Show of the Year considerations by December. We have a long way to go this year with a numerous amount of shows in between. Even if in the big picture this show is forgotten due to its early appearance in the year, it will certainly be one of if not the best black metal show of this year.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN