Date: October 29, 2011

Location: AN Club, Athens – Greece

Had that live taken place 5 or 10 years ago, it would have been a major event for the Hellenic blackmetal hordes. But with GEHENNA being practically inactive in the years that followed the release of the excellent “WW” album, only a small amount (about 200 maybe) of fans showed up for their show in the historical AN Club of Athens. Rumors from their previous day appearance at Thessaloniki about their limited setlist also made us more skeptical.

First support band was VIGOUR, who, for me, were a disappointing act. With their sound floating between old-school extreme metal, CRADLE OF FILTH-like atmospheres and even some riffs that could fit in old HELLOWEEN records, the mix was far from successful. The constant posing from one of their guitarists made things worse and it was left to their singer to try and change things. At least he showed some good potential. They were followed by the well-established blackthrashers SLAUGHTERED PRIEST, a band devoted to the retro approach of AURA NOIR and the like. Although they were not helped from the raw sound that came out of the speakers (I made a good effort to distinguish which SLAYER song the covered –it was “Black Magic”), their set was solid and cause a small eruption in the mosh pit. They mostly presented tracks from their last album, “Serpent’s Nekrowhores”, and also covered RAZOR as well as SAD (who were originally to play in this live too), the latter with the guest appearance from their singer Nadir.

Now it was time for GEHENNA to enter the stage and so they did with Dolgar starting on the microphone which he passed to Sannrab sometime in the middle of their set. The coldness of the “WW” tracks such as “Grenade Prayer” was depicted in a fitting way with the band’s static presence on stage. Meanwhile, with no keyboards accompanying the riffs, old time classic “Ad Arma Ad Arma” depraved of its original majestic camisole, obtained a new far more horrific meaning. The overall vastness and volume of the sound even helped tracks from the weakly produced “Adimiron Black” sound devastating enough. Although it is apparent that the glory years for GEHENNA belong in the past, the way this band has matured into a cynical being is truly interesting.

They left the stage after about 50-55 minutes of music, something that could easily be called as “theft”. But did it really matter? I don’t think anyone actually needed more of this cold metal sound. Like medicine or drugs, it just was the appropriate dose for this kind of music treatment.

~ by antifleshnimbus on November 25, 2011.

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