Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
September 29th, 2015
Supports Watain and Bölzer
The Australian ‘Satanist’ tour kicked off overnight in Perth, Western Australia as Bölzer, the Zurich based bludgeoning two piece act, black metal Swedish titans, Watain and the mighty satanic beast that is, Behemoth took to the stage. A conglomerate of utter filth, drenched in the dark arts and fuelled upon Satan’s wrath. Yes, my friends, this tour will be a beast!
Hitting the stage first up were a two piece powerhouse Bölzer. Drifting between black metal and just pure death metal, band members, KzR (X String Flay / Heresy) and HzR (Skin Decimation), or guitar and drums in layman’s terms simply slay the stage. The two-piece may have less than an hour of recorded music available but the hype surrounding this duo is clearly warranted. Roughly translated the band’s name is something like “smasher” or “bulldozer”. “Bölzen” is a Swiss German verb deriving from “Bolzen” (a bolt); “bolzen” (verb, without the umlaut) can also mean “to drive fast” in other parts of the German-speaking countries as well as being a term related to football (“to slam”). Either way, these guys devour the stage. HzR is a monster drummer and KzR commands the stage in true Lemmy style, head high, and just lets rip with a demonstrative pose and growl, and those riffs….wow. If you were planning on rocking up to these shows a bit later on the rest of the Australian tour, please rethink.
Swedish black metal outfit, Watain have been around the traps since 1998, bringing with them controversy, satanic enlightenment, gruesome stage antics and ‘that’ stench. When we say ‘that’ stench you will only know when this band arrive on stage in your city. Think rotting corpses, or dead flesh left in the sun a few hours, these guys reek and it’s all part of the show folks. The scene was set early with stage props of upside down crosses across the stage and ‘that’ stench. The introductory soundtrack played out as a storm emanated from the speakers, complete with lightning bolts which for the case of the live show were eye piercing bright lights shone into the audience. Yes, the scene was set and as the healthy crowd lurched forward. You could slice the air for expectation, as each Watain show delivers more than just chaotic Black Death metal, it is almost a theatre performance as such.
When Watain front man Erik Danielsson took to the stage with his henchman, all hell broke loose, as the band blasted their way through a ‘best-of’ of Watain classics. Swaying and decaying hair battled the audience at the front, and ‘that’ stench wafted its way throughout the club, engulfing the heaving mass into succumbing to a greater evil. The Watain experience is definitely up there with one of those ‘must see’ music moments. It doesn’t matter if you’re not fully into black metal, it’s like seeing Gwar for the first time, and whilst Watain are absolutely serious in the subject matter they spew forth all music lovers can enjoy this band, at least once. Again and only if you make it through ‘that’ stench.
Lastly, on Watain, if you’re not a fan of getting pigs blood thrown across your face or clothes in the front row, we suggest you take a middle to back position away from the pit, as they say, ‘there will be blood’.
Funnily enough the stench had subsided by the time the mighty Behemoth swayed onto the stage. As Nergal, the charismatic hooded devout Satanist performed some sort of ritual on stage involving fire balls. Whilst his hordes gathered, the pit swayed in unison awaiting the first commandment from the a band that proved why they’re one of the most influential and portentous groups in the world of extreme music. As the chords to ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’ bellow out in that empowering blast, one thing is quick to decipher amongst the Behemoth clan, Nergal is an indisputable star. He leads his blood-spitting band with unearthly charisma, engaging the audience with spiteful eye contact as if encompassing the unholy one within his body. There would be very little banter to the crowd from Nergal other than a ‘Perth, raise your horns’, or ‘Perth, it’s time to die’ within a few of the band’s colossus set list. However, the crowd do not care, they sing or bellow in unison all the while fellow guitarist, Patryk Dominik Sztyber and bass player Tomasz Wróblewski swap up stage positions whilst plying their trade, smashing their instruments, with heads banging as if head-butting Christian soldiers leaving them dead in their wake.
The set list in itself was as epic as the stage show, highlights to ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ and ‘Ben Sahar’ which simply crushed the crowd, with a circle pit engulfing the centre of the audience for the majority of the show. Older classics also helped keep the baying crowd mesmerized by their obscurity, such as ‘Chant for Eschaton 2000’ and ‘Slaves Shall Serve’.
At times the band sauntered off stage for 30 seconds or so, only to return shortly after, recoup breathe and then bludgeon into more Behemoth venom. Blood was spilt too, each band member with blood soaked faces and clothes, following a deathly solo from Sztyber who moshed feverishly mid stage whilst blood almost curdled up from his mouth spilling down his face and then spat distastefully into the crowd below. Drummer Zbigniew ‘Inferno’ Promiński by this time was shirtless with what appeared to be a cut on his shaven head, as blood soaked his face and sweaty body. There is no Behemoth show without a trip to the local butcher right? Vegans beware.
Concluding with ‘O Father O Satan O Sun’, the band now dressed in full demon garb with horned masks and sullied faces. Behemoth had conquered. A show not just for the black masses but one of those bucket-list tours you simply cannot miss.
Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Decade of Therion
As Above So Below
Slaves Shall Serve
Christians to the Lions
Ov Fire and the Void
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
At the Left Hand ov God
Chant for Eschaton 2000
O Father O Satan O Sun!
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