An evening of ‘Christraping’ Black Metal is what we were promised, and one look at the line up backed up that most provocative of promises. Unfortunately due to a massive amount of traffic turning my one-hour journey into a three-hour marathon, I didn’t make it to the venue in time for opening act Ethereal. This was a huge disappointment as having seen them before at a hometown show in Liverpool; I was looking forward to seeing them on such a big bill. Still, they seemed to go down well from the people I spoke to. With their debut album under their belts now, I am sure it won’t be too long before I get another chance to catch them.
The first band I actually caught was Bliss Of Flesh from France. I didn’t know too much about them before but they put on a show that demonstrated exactly why they had managed to get on such an illustrious bill. The five piece just about fit on the small stage, but their raw, brutal sound drew a sizeable and appreciative crowd that prepared everyone for what was to come with the headliner.
After them, it was time for Belphegor. I had wanted to catch this lot for a while, and they didn’t disappoint. Whilst their set concentrated on their latest album, “Conjuring The Dead”, they also provided a choice selection from throughout their career, vocalist and sole original member Helmuth orchestrating the show from behind his gas mask adorned mic stand. Their set seemed all too brief although that could be due to it being a relentless onslaught of blast beats, dry ice and strobe light.
Marduk rounded off the night and took the baton from the previous excellent performances and pushed things a little further. One of the leading lights in the scene since the early 90’s after being approved by key figures in the movement such as Euronymous. Again, like Belphegor, Marduk drew from their extensive career in remarkably busy and productive set. New album “Frontschwein” was the main source, and once again their set was a non-stop barrage of brutality, where the only hint of any calm was some atmospheric church organ which heralded the arrival of ‘Sulphur Souls.’.
An excellent night, It all seemed over far too quickly, but then again the fast pace, short sets and change overs and just about as amount of strobe as any one brain can handle will no doubt have added to that.
Feast Upon The Dead – In Blood-Devour This Sanity – Gasmask Terror – Impaled Upon The Tongue Of Satan – Black Winged Torment – Belphegor-Hells Ambassador – Rex Tremendae Majestatis – Lucifer Incestus – Conjuring The Dead – Bondage Goat Zombie
Frontschwein – The Blond Beast – Slay The Nazarene – The Levelling Dust – 502 – Wartheland – Into Utter madness – Cloven Hoof – burn My Coffin – Warschau – Sulphur Souls – Afrika – The Black…
Photos by Stephen Fallows.