While it may be a bit grandiose to title a tour "Black Metal Warfare" or really any kind of warfare after witnessing a show on the tour in question it doesn't feel nearly as close to hyperbole as it does warning. More and more black metal bands either dont play live or dont tour at the very least. It would seem a great many bands are interest in using the internet as a tool and stading behind in the shadows as opposed to facing a crowd and facing possible derision as a result. On the other hand, bands like Mayhem and Watain tend to tour regularly and present their music to the people.
The first band on was Canada's own Revenge. The band has released a handful of full lengths on Hell's Headbanger's Records. They all contain a similar sound encompassing black metal, doom, and death metal all played with a blown out despairing sound. I am happy to report that their recorded sound is similar to their live sound. The vocal trade offs allow each player to get their time to shine both vocally and instrumentally which at least on this bill sets them apart from the headliners. The focus on distortion and noise tends to override everything else as each song contained it's own noisy solo and the set ended with a few minutes of blown out distortion and noise. This helps to capture the anger within their lyrics and certainly helps them stick out amongst their peers.
Next Came Watain. Now much has been made of their image and stage show and rightfully so. The band came to the stage with a full intro lit candles, skulls and and other adornments littered the stage. These things while to some may seem overblown, play a strong role in the band's presence and music. As the band took the stage they blazed through their brand of black metal with an eye towards ferocity and antagonism. Both Erick and Pelle (vocalist and lead guitarist respectively) managed to show a ferocity and a true presence on the stage. The band played like they owned the stage and their setlist felt like that of a headliner. Going so far as to leave midest and return for an encore. Upon their return the greeted the crowd with a brief ritual followed by a spilling of blood onto the crowd this was followed by a raging set of songs which helped to encapsulate their career as a band finally ending the night with fan favorite "Sworn To The Dark"
Finally the legendary Mayhem took the stage. The band tore through a set of songs that played like a greatest hits album. With so many era's of the band, not to mention vocalists one could be forgiven for almost expecting them to ignore their past. Nothing could've been further from the facts as they ripped throguh black metal classics such as "DeathCrush" and "Freezing Moon" and still managed to insert a few new songs into the set. While notably paired down visually from Watain, Attila (Vocals) commanded the stage with an uncanny and strangely mezmerising presence. All this helps to solidify Mayhem's own place in history while letting no one forget how they got to the place they're at now.
All in all this show was something worth experiencing each band played their style. While the set of bands almost plays like a walk through black metal history in an albeit shortened way. Each band shows a mark on the timeline of this style of metal and each managed to show why they should be talked about and most certainly seen.
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