Black Metal. It’s a bit of a funny thing. Its also still totally interesting to us that such bands can really sell out a venue like London’s Electric Ballroom. But it can and it will continue to as long as legendary bands with rich histories such as Mayhem continue to do what they do.
There is a huge variety of people making their way into the venue tonight. Its true that you’ll never see as many grown men with makeup on in one room as you do at a Black Metal show, we can vouch for that one. But in between it all, there’s aurora in the air. Something more sinister is brewing and it only takes thinking about the history of Mayhem and what that brought to their scene. A scene they, along with others influenced and helped to define. The ties the band has with other stand out acts and how all together it paints a wicked picture and that in itself is well represented on stage tonight.
Inconcessus Lux Lucis kicks the show off with a bang and are a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to the mashup of styles that they incorporate into their sound. Nods of approval from those making their way into the venue prove that they’re the band that boasts the most groove tonight. They have the ability to shift from a more traditional old school black metal sound to almost an old school gallop of heavy metal inclusive of some fine fret wanking guitar solos and all in between the barrage of blast beats from drummer who is in fine form. It's interesting and does well to keep the interest of the crowd but at times feels a little disjointed. Sure there are times it feels like the band can't decide if they want to be Darkthrone or Iron Maiden but fuck it. We dig it.
It's fair to say that as if Satan himself wasn't already on his way to this venue, Dragged Into Sunlight were the ones to summon the beast. Two words come to mind after we stood in disbelief of what we just witnessed.
There are almost no other words to describe it. The bands ability to change the feel of the room is impressive. With their stage filled with skulls and candles whilst playing in almost pitch black, the noises that come from them is utterly terrifying. It really feels like the soundtrack to the end of the world if there ever were to be one and we can’t help but feel as if they were to ones to steal the show. The lights are turned back on once the band finish and through the squints as people’s eyes adjust to light again, the look on their faces says it all as we eavesdrop on people’s conversations expressing disbelief of just how good that was. The place may look like a warzone (oh hello smoke machine) but there are some very happy folks in the masses.
Church burnings. Suicides. Murders. All of the things probably running through the heads of those who look
to be in deep thought just before Mayhem hit the stage. Its hard not to feel the dark energy in the room as the anticipation for the band slowly rises. Before that, a voice plays over the speakers asking fans to put their phones away and not to flash the stage with their cameras, something a lot of bands feel strongly about these days. Its interesting to think that these bands that go back along time have watched the crowds slowly changing over times as more and more insist on watching the show through their phone screens. Regardless, there is a huge sense of mystery as smoke fills the stage which is lit only by two dim blue lights. And then it begins. Drums fill the room as Funeral Fog starts what is a complete play through of ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ live and in full. Let’s get one thing clear. The record is epic. But live, its truly something else. There is a huge sense of dark mystery around front man Attila as his vocals are as eerie as his flailing arms. The band are on stage in full black hoods and gowns. It is however Bassist Necrobutcher who reveals his face by pulling off his hood to a barrage of cheers from the fans.
Interestingly, the fans get De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas live and in full and that’s it. There are no added extras, there are no fan treats, for this performed is a treat in itself. A treat that still to this very day is as evil and bitter sounding as it gets. Anyone walking away feeling hard done by simply did not absorb just how awesome this performance was and we can’thelp but feel sorry for them.