Heavy Metal or No Metal At All
I keep promising myself I'm going to write more, so I might as well jump back into blogging. Here are my thoughts on the bands at the recent Decibel Magazine Tour which hit the Trocadero in Philadelphia in May.
Evoken – I like funeral doom, although I don't follow the genre particularly closely. I'm not sure how popular Evoken is within the movement, but based on their live performance, they deserve to be huge. The band's music is slow and torturous, and it sounds absolutely crushing on stage. They have a new album coming out this year, and if the show is anything to go, it will be very impressive. I wish these guys could have played longer, as they were excellent
In Solitude – I don't know much about these guys except they seem to be going for a NWOBHM/ Mercyful Fate vibe and their songs are kind of long. They were good, but they were a bit of a letdown after Evoken's set.
The Devil's Blood – Unless there's some material I'm not familiar with, The Devil's Blood is barely a metal band. I've read reviews describing them as a doom metal band, and they are heavier live than on CD, but they're basically a Satanic version of Jefferson Airplane. I'm baffled as to why they're getting so much attention from the metal press. If they were going to get a female-fronted band to be on this tour, why not Blood Ceremony or Witch Mountain? I have no idea what they were doing on this tour.
Watain – Watain often likes to cover themselves in blood and bring rotting meat with them on stage. Although it seemed like the Trocadero prevented them from going all out (no rotting meat as far as I could tell), but they were pretty great. I'm having trouble remembering their exact setlist, but they definitely played “Reaping Death” and “Stellarvore”. Next to Marduk, Watain is probably the best Swedish black metal band working. I'd love to seem the do a headlining show sometime, as I'd have like to have heard a few more songs from them.
Behemoth – I've been a fan of Behemoth since their Grom album, and it's been a little weird to see them go from an obscure black metal band to arguably Poland's best known death metal band (It feels weird to say that, what with the illustrious career Vader have carved out for themselves, but Behemoth has appeared on Ozzfest and headlines tours in America).
The band is still touring behind their album Evangelion, so a lot of the set list was pulled from that that album. Most of the other songs were from Demigod and The Apostasy, although they did throw in “Chant for Ezkaton 2000” and “23(The Youth Manifesto)” from their earluer albums and even “Moonspell Rites” from the And the Forests Dream Eternally EP. The band sounded fantastic, even better than when I saw them at the TLA a couple of years ago. There are too few heavy metal shows in Philadelphia, so it was nice to have such an impressive group of bands come to town.