Heavy Mag celebrated their second birthday in spectacular fashion this year, bringing Rotting Christ out on their first ever tour to Australia, with some of Australia’s finest black metal bands to open.
The crowd was excellent. High energy, high enthusiasm, the works. A few pits, even. I’ve never seen pits at black metal gigs before, so this was awesome. The sound was much better than my previous excursion to the Hi-Fi. Even though it was a black metal show, the stage production was excellent. The sound was awesome, the lights weren’t blinding for once, and I left extremely satisfied.
Rise of Avernus took the stage not long after doors. I wasn’t impressed, to be honest. Very boring and sample-heavy, they’re the kind of doom that bores me to tears. Also not a fan of the female singing. Not a fan of the singing in general, really. Combined with a boring and REALLY tedious live performance, lyrics that border on moody 8th-grade emo poetry where it wasn’t “lalala” and guitar 101 riffs that make me question whether they have control of basic musical concepts. Thinking about them irritates me. But hey, they might be your thing, but they’re certainly not for me.
Denouncement Pyre took the stage not long after. I couldn’t help but laugh; they seemed to take themselves so seriously. There was headbanging, but that’s about it. They seemed so stiff and uncomfortable, kind of like if there was an old Christian lady scolding them from the back of the room. They were also clad in spikes and patches, but it all seemed too over-the-top for me. Especially for a local band whose name I had heard a grand total of once before seeing them. Song-wise, they were pretty great, though. The usual black metal affair, certainly nothing groundbreaking, but fun and engaging anyway.
Terra Australis were interesting. The vocals were very high-pitched, and I couldn’t help but think of Fleurety and those weird eagle vocals. The riffing was cool; again, nothing revolutionary but awesome anyway. Their stage presence was great, as they used the dim red lighting to their advantage. They also seemed to be having a bit more fun than Denouncement Pyre, indicated by the vocalist’s hair tangled into his spiked gauntlets and the mic stand. Trve and kvlt as fvck, complete with spikes, leather and patches.
I’ve been sat here for a long while trying to figure out how to write this review without gushing a little. Rotting Christ, along with Emperor, got me into black metal, but even then I had no idea they would so phenomenal, so fuck it. Gush time. Rotting Christ are probably — no, definitely — one of the tightest live bands I have ever seen. Combined with their complete command of the stage and crowd, they tore it up. Instrumentally and vocally, all of it was a masterful display, and true, definable proof that they deserve to be one of my favourite black metal bands.
What I found interesting was that the stuff from Kata ton Daimona Eaytoy sounded so much better live than the album version did. Since it came out, I’ve always felt that Kata ton Daimona Eaytoy sounded like it was only half of what the album was supposed to sound like; I felt like half of the tracks in the songs were missing, including the main vocal parts. Live, though, was a completely different story. All the songs made sense, and there was just enough of the back catalogue to keep it familiar. Their cover of “Societas Satanas [Thou Art Lord]” was fantastic as well, but far and away was “King of a Stellar War.”
The main riff is just as spectacular and majestic live as it is on record. All of it was utterly brilliant.
You know the drill. Go check out the bands mentioned. You may even like some. But to be honest, if you don’t listen to Rotting Christ already, you should go to the naughty corner.
Rotting Christ set list:
3. Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
4. Athanati Este
5. The Sign of Evil Existence
6. Transform All Suffering Into Plagues
7. Societas Satanas (Thou Art Lord cover)
8. King of a Stellar War
9. Chaos Geneto (The Sign of Prime Creation)
10. In Yumen-Xibalba
11. Grandis Spritus Daivolos
12. Non Serviam
13. Noctis Era
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