The Satanist

  
    

In the “special guest” slot to Twisted Sister on the Friday evening are controversial Polish blackened death metal demigods Behemoth. This will be my fourth time seeing the band, and my second time at Bloodstock. 

They belatedly played the festival in 2012, originally they should have graced the main stage in 2010 but were forced to pull out when frontman Nergal was diagnosed with leukaemia. When they eventually did play they headlined the main stage and they were absolutely devastating. If it was an indoor gathering it wound have been an open air version after the proverbial roof was ripped off. One of the best performances I’ve seen over my 17 visits to the festival – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t necessarily like black metal. 

Formed in the industrial city of Gdańsk in 1991 I didn’t pick up on the band until 2009 when I head Ov Fire And The Void taken from the Evangelion release, their ninth album. Moving a few steps sideways from black metal to a much more death metal sound, for me, the release became that bit more palatable. 

A bug bear with this festival is the repeat acts. On the Friday alone at least four of the nine bands have played the festival at least once, and as stated earlier Behemoth are one of those. But at least this time they are doing something a bit more unique and playing last album The Satanist in its entirety, a thing that hasn’t occurred on the shores before. I have seen a few people moaning that they are playing their “overrated” album, how they come to that conclusion I don’t really know. I’m no black metal aficionado so I’m not in a position to compare this to the best of Immortal, Emperor, Darkthrone or Dissection, but to me The Satanist is a great example of extreme metal. 

I was going to post the video to the aforementioned Ov Fire And The Void, but as they are playing The Satanist in full (and there are more videos for the album than I imagined) here’s the title track to the album. 

Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel

From the four shows I could have attended tonight I ended up in the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton for an evening of death and black metal.

 

Mancunian black metallers Ethereal opened up proceedings, but we missed them.

Polish death metal band Hate were a new one to me so I was unsure what to expect. I quite liked them by the end of their 40 minute set. It’s odd hearing proper metal guitar solos incorporated into this genre of music, but it worked well.

Providence, Rhode Island natives Vital Remains were my draw for tonight. Guitarist Tony Lazaro is the only constant member in the band from 1988. This is the third time I’ve seen them smashing out their anti Christian death metal and it’s the third different line up I’ve seen. For those who saw it in some news feeds, this is the band that had the police officer on stage singing Let The Killing Begin in Florida recently. He later got fired.

Capping off the evening, and still on stage as I write, are Belphegor, an Austrian black metal band. There are very few black metal bands I enjoy and unfortunately these aren’t one of the select few. I just don’t get black metal in general. Musically they can be great with their fast tempos and irregular structures with an the emphasis on building up an atmosphere. The drumming is so frenetic at times it can be a joy to watch. Then the screeching vocals kick in and I just zone out. You can’t like everything.

So randomly here’s some Behemoth. As Vital Remains have no video, here’s a track from one of the few black metal bands I like.