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Black metal conjures images of blood coated long haired men in “corpse paint” in the snow and tonight it’s basically the scene in the streets surrounding the venue, although it’s only fog, unfortunate for the black metal fanatics out in Glasgow tonight. Zebadiah Crowe, the opening band, are met by a practically empty crowd in the venue tonight. Their music seems to lack a certain atmosphere that would definitely help them in their current situation. The vocalist just seems to be wildly screaming into the microphone as the sound tonight is not great, coupled with typical black metal vocals, it’s pretty inaudible for the majority of their set. Their drummer is technically pretty tight, fast drums and double bass, but it doesn’t really stand out. By the time the last song comes around there is a small gathering of fans stood about 4 feet away from the stage head banging; it is the only movement the crowd has seen so far and still they are nowhere near the band. Disappointing opening act, but it was marred by sound issues.
Thursday 4th February 2010
Classic Grand in Glasgow, UK
Up next are Artisian, a black metal band from the UK, who take to a stage which has been pre-prepared with smoke and candles, for added atmosphere it seems. Clad in typical spikes and corpse paint, the 3 piece break into their first song, again the vocals seem to be inaudible but that might just be my untrained ear to black metal. They seem to be a tight live band, have quite good rhythms at points, but the drums are too heavy in the mix and drown out the guitar and bass which isn’t a great thing to go on. However, the crowd seem to be enjoying the set as they venture forward, closer towards the band and eventually a few patrons end up on the barrier, head banging along with vocalist ‘Møløch’. In regards to how the band feel about their set, it’s hard to tell as they don’t seem to put a lot of emotion into their set, or move, at all; their bassist practically stood in the same spot for the full time he was playing. The only thing I can remember the band actually saying to the crowd apart from song introductions went along the lines of *inaudible chat* ‘….Satan’, then they kicked into more material. Not the greatest set for the 3 piece who I’m sure have more to offer live, it may simply just been a little bit of trying to hard to be ‘kvlt’.
Reviews by Siobhan Hogarty
Anaal Nathrakh are an absolute force live. They walk on to the stage, a simple set up, no candles or smoke, they don’t have spikes or corpse paint, simply a band of casually dressed guys. Blending a fusion of Black Metal and Grindcore, they are definitely something different to the rest of the bands tonight. Vocalist Dave Hunt (V.I.T.R.I.O.L) starts the set by calling upon the crowd to move forward and that if they want to crowd surf and join him onstage, they should, let‘s just see how this goes. ‘In Constellation Of The Black Widow’ kicks their set off brutally, some of the fastest blast beating on display tonight and the mix of Hunt’s screaming alongside his clean vocals work superbly. The pit rages and it is clear to see a large majority of the crowd are here to see Nathrakh. The band are so tight live, the guitar parts work smoothly and the band themselves have so much energy, constantly moving whilst dodging Hunt who is trying his best to stay on the barrier as much as possible. When ‘More Of Fire Than Blood’ starts, the crowd take to the air in an attempt to gain access to the stage - which in a venue the size of Classic Grand, isn’t very difficult and the security take issue with this. The vocalist has a few words with the security, to which he receives applause from the baying crowd. Artisian and Zebadiah Crowe played shorter sets it seems, in order to give Nathrakh more stage time, and tonight it is appreciated by every person in the room. They have made a lasting impression on the crowd tonight, Hunt especially I have found a new respect for as a musician, he connects with the crowd on a new level and puts his everything into his set, wild eyed and screaming every word with such conviction. Highlight of the set may have to be Hunt spending basically all of ‘When The Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child’ on top of the barrier, screaming in the front rows’ faces as the crowd was going insane, wind milling and crowd surfing whilst his band laid waste behind him. Their live act is top notch and so energetic, it has blown the previous 2 bands away and has made it an extremely difficult act for Marduk to top.
The room has filled very nicely by the time Marduk take to the stage. They aren’t a band to be taken lightly, or it seems that is the approach they take in their appearance and music. Guitarist Morgan set out to create the “most blasphemous band” around and taking some of the band’s material into consideration it could be said that he achieved that feat. Sound issues have been resolved as the band tear through ‘On Darkened Wings’ and material from newest record ‘Wormwood’ to the avid crowd who are all head banging and wind milling along in a mass of hair. Vocalist Mortuus puts a lot of energy into his performance and attempts to connect with the crowd as much as possible, however the rest of the band do not display much energy in terms of moving around the stage but they are quite tight live, especially Lars’ drumming as his blast beats and timings in general are well executed. Their unfaltering brand of black metal which they have stayed true to from the band’s conception is well and truly on display tonight; the band not only look the part, but they genuinely believe in their music and in their beliefs, a stark contrast to many of the fad bands present in the Black Metal genre at times who are there purely for the controversy. A solid set and a good performance from the 4 piece, but it was simply quite difficult for any band to top the performance given by Anaal Nathrakh tonight.