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Gig Review: Behemoth + supports, Sydney

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Behemoth + Watain + Bölzer
The Metro Theatre, Sydney
03 October 2015
Review by Salla Harjula
Photo by Kierra Thorn

Ah. What do you say after a Behemoth show? You’re mown down and flattened to paste on the floor from a force field of relentlessness.

The night fires off with Swiss two-piece Bölzer. I walk in on the first song and have an instant where I just do a stupefied double take. Realising it really is just one guy behind the drums and another on the mike holding a guitar… It’s surreal.

The monstrously massive sound these dudes produce emanates over the full Metro and easily commands everyone’s attention. The singer, with his beard and his side cut and armour tattoos and bare toned muscles is like a grim Viking straight off the battlefield. And sounds like it. It’s pretty glorious in fact.

Watain takes the stage next to huge cheers. The Swedes’ classic black metal is reliably filthy. There’s a certain stubborn contrariness in their dirty, smudged corpse paint and extremely foul sound.

The crowd is a mass of fervent air punches in unison for pretty much the whole show. It’s actually kind of cute (I’m sorry!) to see the whole place adoring these gruesome veterans of Scandinavian black metal. They close off their set with a request:

”All we ask for this one is some proper Australian chaos. This is Malfeitor.”

They get it.

Then it’s time for Behemoth. As with Watain, the inside venue doesn’t allow for pyro or anything too extravagant by way of visual props. The guys bring it all by themselves though.

Gliding onto the stage in their monkish robes, faces hidden inside deep hoods, it’s clear from the first second who dominates this night and every night forever to come.

The set includes quite a few songs off their latest offering The Satanist. Bloody magnificent, if you ask me. Obviously the band has an impressive back list of pulverising death metal to choose from, but the monumental epics In the Absence ov Light and O Father O Satan O Sun! are seriously the highlights of the night.

It’s an assault on all the senses, with nothing of that cliché being empty words here. The show sees Nergal and his brethren give their best impression of satanic slaughterers with music instruments for ritualistic axes. They spit blood into the audience. At one point Watain’s red devil of a guitarist bounds up to the drum throne to deliver an impromptu drum duetto.

But when all’s said and done, they need none of these theatrics, not really. The music speaks for itself.

These guys are Behemoth. It’s all in the name.

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