Capitol, Perth WA
January 16th, 2017
Support: Bölzer, Départe and Earth Rot
It is simply the best when the local weather matches the vibe of the band playing that very night. After a couple of Perth’s rainiest days on record (and we’re talking torrential), black metal maestros Mayhem stormed through to Perth, their first stop on their catastrophically brutal Australian tour. The band hadn’t been in Oz for quite a few years, and this time playing a very special album its entirety – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.
This stormy Tuesday night urged the darkest and most loyal metal fans to flood into the venue, in preparation for an eerie evening. Of course, it wouldn’t be a metal gig without a stunning set of supports. Opening the proceedings for the evening were local champs Earth Rot. The band brought the black death to the stage once again. Riddled with brutality, these guys know how to bring total annihilation to your ear drums. Their minor technical issues didn’t impact the show whatsoever. The set was truly entertaining, both to listen to and watch.
Following this performance were Tasmanian post-black/death metal outfit Départe. The band were, well depressing – but that’s what they seem to be going for, it’s the only way a good black metal outfit can deliver. Slow and gloomy, the red coloured lights bled over them during their set as they brought the crowd a contemplative set.
Right before the headliners swooped in, Swiss extreme metalers Bölzer came on stage to absolutely rip Perth a new one. The duo (guitar/vocals and drums) pounded through their set with doomy vocals and retching riffs that waved across Capitol. The lighting was dark and gloomy and infused with viking imagery, with a strong presence a Nordic European style, sustained throughout the set. It was clear that Mayhem fans were really keen and appreciative to check out Bölzer who bring a very unique and loud sound.
Right on time, the house lights flickered off and the filling the stage was the devilish signature blue palette from the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album cover. Smoke rapidly burst upward from the bottom of the stage as a few minute instrumental riff rolled through to anticipate fans’ excitement. All of a sudden a recording begun, requesting fans to withhold taking flash photography; this was the first time I’ve experienced this, and wonder if it might be the future of live shows given the digital age we live in.
Eventually, the riff was joined by the rest of the band who appeared on stage with white face paint and dressed in dark grim reaper inspired cloaks with hoods; we’re definitely at a black metal show (in case there was any doubt or scepticism.). Vocalist Attila Csihar channelled the most convincing impression of Satan that anyone could possibly attempt. Dressed the same as the band, Csihar joined the band as the verse began, and was received by a wildly loud applause and yell from the crowd, with devil horns in the air.
The front-man’s growls were retching and he moved up and down slowly, using his arms to feel the music and embrace the atmosphere. The band’s effort to put on a live show was so easily contagious to experience the gloom and doom that they represent. The band’s sound was outrageous, each chord being struck were like deafening bliss, and resided with organised chaos. Before a few tracks Csihar would turn around with his back to the audience, complemented by the merky red lighting being carried by the smoke; he dramatically raises his arms outstretched and prolongs each lyric for full effect – the audience were frothing. Black metal certainly is all about the show and the shock-value from bands like Mayhem. The pioneers of the genre swarmed through the timeless record and left fans stunned and satisfied by the satanic performance they had just witnessed.
Gig Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Revisit our interview with Mayhem‘s Attila Csihar here
Mayhem – The True Mayhem Tour
feat. BÖLZER, & Départe
Thursday, 18th January @ Sydney, Max Watts
Friday, 19th January @ Brisbane, The Triffid
Sunday, 21st January @ Hobart, Mona Foma