First Phoenix,Arizona’s blackened metalcore act,Abigail Williams,[Named after a famed Salem witch trials accuser] took to the stage. Rythym Guitarist/Frontman Ken Sorceron nearly had the band start without bassist Gryph wotawa,perhaps because he thought Gryph was slow getting to the stage and Ken also briefly said he didn’t know where Gryph was,however before Ken and the rest began,Gryph was on stage a few seconds later and donned his bass and the set began.
The bands earlier work including their debut album,in the shadow of a thousand suns in 2008, has been compared to symphonic black metal/extreme metal acts,Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. I however did not notice such similarities. It might be because they could have been playing tracks from their up and coming album,Becoming,which is slated for release on January,24,2012. To be honest I haven’t listened to the band well enough to say for sure what albums the songs they were performing were from. Listening to and watching the set I feel it left much to be desired. Much of the set was very similar sounding almost like they were playing the same song just with changed timing and breaks during their pieces. I found them also slow,personally I prefer faster songs especially at a show to get me warmed up for the main act. I think a lot of other show goers would agree,faster tempoed bands or songs get the crowd more excited and pumped up for the headliner. It may have been their songs style or such but definitely more volume on vocals,bass and drums may have been preferred as all of which did not seem very audible to me.
Next up Poland’s Hate assisted with their stage setup much like at the sepultura show. Once again neuraxis’s drum kit was used,I tried to do some research into this but was unable to find anything relevant,however I will continue to look into it to see what I find out. Just like at sepultura,Hate did not disappoint as they played a short yet brutally well done set that had the crowd moving and moshing,headbanging giving the horns etc. People like to compare them to behemoth,however,musically and lyrically they sound different despite both currently being Blackened Death Metal,the only really similarities being they both originate from Poland and wear corpse paint with similar costumes. I love this band and the energy they bring to the atmosphere and look forward to seeing them again hopefully in the near future.
Next another band I was looking forward to seeing again from the sepultura show : Norway’s Keep of Kalessin. My issue I had at the vogue theatre with their set was I was disappointed with the overall sound quality because I do like this band and sound means a lot at a show when your seeing your favourites. However when the band started and vocalist Torbjørn “Thebon” Schei was prepared to begin vocals no sound came out from his mic which was disappointing though it was certainly no fault of his,the sound in the mic also cut in and out so clearly the mic was faulty and he proceeded to replace it near the drum kit with a new mic and carried on with his vocals. I feel though that the band is to be commended for keeping professional during the technical difficulty and did not miss a beat almost as if there was no issue at all. With the faulty mic situation out of the way I was able to enjoy the fullness of KoK’s set. Soundwise it was a upgrade from The Vogues sound system I felt.
And then finally the moment we have all been waiting for, The legendary Black Metallers Mayhem graced the stage,but before I get into their performance I have to bring up a issue I have with some peoples behaviour at concerts,I had a place up at the front standing beside my girlfriend Kayla where we were watching the bands and we wanted to stand up there together and watch the show undisturbed,unfortunately some over-selfimportant guy and his gf bullied their way to the front and separated me and Kayla from eachother which was not cool at all considering me and Kayla were holding hands. So I basically got stuck behind this Jerk who stole my spot and wasn’t really able to reach Kayla and when me and her wanted to sit I had to bash my way through everyone just to get the seats because people wouldn’t move though I tried to ask politely for them to do so. Some guys that looked more like they belonged in the punk scene except probably with metal patches during hates set also tried hitting on Kayla and being asses til I got involved obviously and I told them to back off even pushing one away to make my point that I wasn’t having any of it. Anyway getting back to Mayhem’s set,it couldn’t have been better,mainly playing songs off their first 2 albums including deathcrush,freezing moon,funeral fog,ancient skin etc. Attila’s vocal work is amazing and doesn’t do him justice when not live seeing him perform his style. I appreciate the use of gutturals at points during songs when not using the typical black metal screeches. Necrobutchers basslines were easily audible and stage presence known,especially since he brought himself out a whole big bottle of some choice alcohol for his use on stage. Hellhammers pummeling beats were also noticeable and added much to the chaos. Guitar work of both Morpheus and Teloch was amazing to see and blended so well with the vocals,bass and drums. All in all to be honest it was a perfect set despite some unwanted behaviour by some in crowd. After the set,I had a feeling mayhem had a surprise in store for us despite hearing pop coming through the speakers me and Kayla waited and after a few minutes of talking with friends Necrobutcher came back out smoke in hand followed by the rest and they told us we were deserving of a encore which they hadn’t done in 5 five years! They played pagan fears before exiting the stage for good this time.
My question to you the reader is how do u feel about the crowds behaviour at shows,does it ruin the show for u? Does it make u enjoy the show less? Do the rowdy people at shows or in general give metal a bad name? Let us know your thoughts and don’t be shy to comment.