Watain frontman Erik Danielsson’s line…not mine. Yes folks, Watain’s North American tour finally came through New York City on Thursday to conduct ritualistic acts at Santos Party House before a rather enthusiastic crowd (including some butt dart in a knitted Suffocation hat who kept yelling “You fucking suck” at Goatwhore…FUCKING GOATWHORE; they delivered a fucking dominating set that ignored their demo material…again), and all I can tell you is, I will never forget that fucking smell.
Before Swedish black metal hessians Watain’s show-ending performance, shortly after Goatwhore set’s which was preceded by a set from Black Anvil, an undiscerning gentleman started meandering about the stage, placing various animals parts on metal sticks. It was a vegan’s worst nightmare. I was standing at the back of the venue, near the open doors, and the smell hit me almost immediately. I couldn’t tell what parts were being displayed, but I’m sure I saw some heads and hindquarters. Literally, within seconds of this giant shadow applying animal parts to spigots that were also adorned with ceremonial candles, Santos started to wreak.
This, of course, is nothing new. Watain do this. Legend has it their tour bus smells like an open grave.
First, it smelled like a fart. “Perhaps the dude in the Krallice shirt next to me beefed,” I thought to myself; he had the look of a chronic gas-liberator. Fair enough…it’s a metal show, so you’d expect such things. But then, it started smelling like a butcher shop…for obvious reasons.
But quickly, and without warning, the smell shifted. Perhaps it was the tang of marijuana smoke mixed with the smack of rotting flesh, but ultimately, I’d say the room smelled like Satan’s vagina. Fucking awful. According to an insider, the band asked the club for permission beforehand to display the meat during the gig. How polite.
You get used to the smell. Over several nauseating minutes, but in time, a band I’ve praised for many years — long before half of the false fucks who were present at tonight’s festivities even heard of them — emerged: Watain.
It was an austere show, enjoyed by people into filthy, black shit. And smell aside, it was a killer show for sure. It started off shaky, with some technical issues; it sounded lo-fi, and maybe that was intentional. But either way, it sounded like shit at first, but adjustments must’ve been made during the show because the band sounded tight and menacing 20 minutes in.
Of course, Watain played the “hits,” like “Sworn To The Dark,” “Devil’s Blood,” and “Reaping Death,” and the band’s live onslaught was both theatrical and punishing on the senses…at least three, anyways.
The “that old Apple” line was delivered by diminutive leader Danielsson, shortly into Watain’s hour-plus set. He said the band were back to “take another bite out of that old Apple.” And they did; the cheesy line, though, was met by a roomful of rolled eyes and sighs. Only in New York, fuckers.
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