North America was the battlefield for the black metal warfare for the second time around and the aftermath was even more devastating than the last one. The battalion comprised by The True Mayhem, Watain and Rotting Christ are an enough destructive force to handle on their own but the Observatory in Santa Ana needed reinforcements and Sadistic Intent was drafted to provide the final blow of metal annihilation and we were there to witness it all.
Every black metal fan knows about the enticing and powerful lineup the Black Metal Warfare consisted on since the first time the tour took place earlier this year. Watain and Mayhem are one of the top black metal acts nowadays so it only makes sense they would join forces to tour across North America not once, but twice, the only thing they had to figure out was who was going to support them. Last year, Canada’s Revenge was the chosen band to take on the task to open for them during their tour but, of course, the line up had to be tweaked to make it appealing to those who attended the first leg and the duo chose their long-time allies and veterans Rotting Christ to front the lines of their tour.
Some cities across the US had different opening bands like Atlanta having T.O.M.B. or us in Santa Ana who were fortunate enough to have the addition of death metal legends Sadistic Intent to join the show. The show was expected to be full but, in the same fashion most of the shows around the area are, many decided to show up late and the crowd was thin and spread by the time Sadistic Intent took the stage. That never seem to matter to a band of this caliber and they quartet performed with the same energy as a sold out festival and the early crowd did not hesitate to join the madness and reciprocated the tenacity delivered.
Rotting Christ hadn’t tour the US in many years and their appearance was long overdue but the band knew well what to give to the hungry fans who’ve been waiting for their return to America. Many songs from their latest album Kata ton Demona Eautou were performed and even a cover of Sakis Tolis’ other band Thou Art Lord “Societas Satanas” giving a blackened thrash twist to the set. Their performance was pristine and powerful and after seeing them live, no one can ever say Rotting Christ are n’t unique on their own craft.
The stench rushed through the room in the most unapologetic way possible and the fans knew what that meant: Watain was about to take over the stage and in a matter of seconds, the venue went from good but not too packed attendance to a cluster of rabid people trying to reach the stage as fast as possible. The horde never stopped chanting the band’s name until the Swedish made their appearance. Watain has been an unique outfit for a long time, particularly when it comes to their live rituals performed on stage and, while it is a heavy metal show, the atmosphere changes into this black mass and worship place of the obscure.
Mixing a great setlist between old and new songs, I have to praise the song execution 2001’s “Angelrape” at this show as it brought the raw darkness Watain’s songwriting had inferred into their music since their early days. Another thing to point out about their show was the difference on their interpretation of the newest songs from The Wild Hunt. As pointed out to me by frontman Erik, after performing the songs for 2 years since its release, the energy flow of the songs has become more natural to them as they already have a feel on how to conduct and emphasize the songs in a live setting. Those who have seen them before during their run on the 2013 release, may have noticed the increased brutality and chaos ensuing on stage and surely were satisfied by it.
The dried up blood and lingering smell of death were the last remains left on stage before turning into another entity of malevolent music. The True Mayhem getting ready to play in front of an already packed venue of tired but still enthusiastic metalheads waiting to see them play their favorite classics. The black metal legends are consistent and fierce on their live performances and Attila Csihar knows how to conduct a raging crowd into the Mayhem experience. “Freezing Moon,” “Deathcrush,” “Funeral Fog,” “De Misteriis Dom Sathanas,” among many more great songs were part of the arsenal prepared by the band, you know it? they played it.
The Black Metal Warfare is expected to do what the name indicates, chaos, madness and terror in musical form and, once again, the servers of death delivered what was promised. There’s a few dates left on the tour and if your city happens to be one of the following, I strongly advise you on attending to get annihilated:
11/20 Palatine, [email protected] Durty Nellies
11/21 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
11/22 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls
11/23 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/24 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/25 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
11/27 Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
11/28 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade