Monday, November 4, 2013

Watain@ the Masquerade 2013

It makes sense for Watain to play in Hell, the day after Halloween. I arrived at the Masquerade to be met by my co-workers at Chambers  Horror , the torture porn themed haunted house the venue operates, to be  told how the band had been airing out their carcasses in front of the haunt, and caused a stench, so when a walked into the venue shortly after Tribulation took the stage I was expecting to be smacked with a foulness that never came. I was later informed the pig's heads Erik impaled on the inverted crosses were only a day old, though the crosses themselves were fifteen years old.

I really enjoyed what I caught of Tribulation's set, the had a jammy element that captured the ambiance of their recorded work well. The spandex and big hair caught me off guard, as they looked like H.I.M, minus Ville. They had the best sound overall, every thing came across very full and clear while In Solitude's guitar mix sounded best when the guitars were locked in playing the thrashier Maiden like riffs , than when the ventured into the more ambient melodic sections, things hollowed out a little.But this is more of  a problem with the downstairs stag at the venue being cavernous.

In Solitude blended the new songs well with the older stuff. Their was a much different energy to their performance, it was less explosive and Pelle was lurching into the crowd, in the latter portion of their set. His brother's backing vocals at times almost overshadowed him. Headlining a bigger stage is on their horizon, and I am interested seeing how that translates for them, as they were cramped on the small stage and it stifled their energy a tad, but they worked well with the situation given over all and I enjoyed their performance.

Watain's set was set for a ritual that looked for like something out of the Hills Have Eyes , as the stage was surrounded in the back drop of  hide skins spread around it with bones and dried carcasses adorning it. Erik's altar sat beneath the drum riser. The band took the stage and blistered into the assault, though their sound when they first came on was mid-range heavy and got dialed in as the set progressed.

Despite the fact they were touring to support, the Wild Hunt the band leaned heavily on Sworn to the Dark instead,only playing four songs from the new album. The set which is posted below only featured two songs from the Lawless Darkness album, dipping into 2003's  "Casus Luciferi" for "Devil's Blood" and even digging up from the graves of 2000 " On Horns Impaled" from Rabid Deaths Curse"   They attacked the  material with the feral intensity,  and the choices of  newer songs were well blended into the selections from their discography to keep the momentum in a solid blast, only allowing it to breathe in moments like for title track off their new album, which seemed almost to serve as a segue into "Sworn to the Dark" as it felt abbreviated in the live arrangement, with backing tacks layering the more melodic vocal section.

The ferocity of velocity , was balanced out with a more ritualistic intent to the performance than their set did when they preformed with Behemoth last year. Muggles might view this element to be theatrics, but while many metal bands like to don occult trappings to keep up appearances Erik is very sincere in his beliefs. At he appeared to be in a trance like state while he held the mic stand in-between arcane snarls. The trance was infectious, carrying over into the audience as the throb of violent vibrations,  conjured up a performance that stopped time, it came to an end and from the smoke machined hazed we realized over an hour had passed. One of the most intense metal acts on the road today, do not miss if they swing through your town.    

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