Date: November 8-10, 2012

Location: Postbanhof-Fritzclub, Berlin, Germany (Day 1 show at Blackland Club)

No prologue bullshit this time, straight to the bands!


Day I:

As I entered the small, decadent place called Blackland (a fairly tall man could easily bump his head on the left speaker upon entrance), DEMONOMANCY were already up on stage, unleashing blasphemous, bestial black/death vomits that devotedly followed the Finnish school of BEHERIT and ARCHGOAT. Sound distortion was obviously overdriven but whenever the pace slowed down, a strong atmosphere was produced. They were followed by Swedes VANHELGD who were ten times better and more consistent than the previous time I had watched them (which was at NWN! Fest vol. II). They destroyed everything and their frontman was a beast on stage. The guys can easily claim the throne of old-school Swedish death metal among their contemporary bands.

Now BUNKUR play a kind of music that I would definitely listen to when at home. They balanced between drone and funeral doom with fitting vocal shrieks. However on stage it didn’t seem to work out very well for them and that, combined with my lack of sleep and the early morning flight from Athens made me want to hang out at some corner. At least until ABIGAIL showed up and transformed the whole place into a black’n’thrash’n’punk’n’roll feast for more than an hour! Total support for the Japanese mafiosos!

Day II:

A combination of my late arrival at Fritzclub and a neverending queue made me miss KNELT ROTE and ANATOMIA, so a big “FUCK-OFF!” to queues and off to PSEUDOGOD who had just started. “Deathwomb Catechesis” was an impressive record, however I found their performance rawer than expected and somewhat inconsistent at times. I.S.K.H. on vocals was spitting his soul out though. ANTEDILUVIAN’s “Through The Cervix…” was one of last year’s most favorite albums and their appearance was one of the main attractions of the festival, at least for me. Indeed, on stage, they were as majestic as one would expect, yet their abyssic death metal attacks were not treated with the required thoroughness in terms of sound engineering. The result was that almost the whole half of their set was somewhat ruined and this sucked a bit.

Italianos BLASPHEMOPHAGHER keep getting better from album to album from live performance to live performance, at least among those I’ve attended. True devotion to BLASPHEMY and Ross-Bay Cult and a good mosh-pit for the first time in the evening. WRATHPRAYER’s show was in many aspects similar to ANTEDILUVIAN. The latinos were commanding on stage but the sound was fucked-up resulting in a chaotic noise coming out of the speakers. Chaotic noise is fine of course, but you have to be able to listen to the riff or the drums on the background at least.

The first night at Fritzclub began to reach its end when I got informed of Tomas Stench’s flight issues and the subsequent cancellation of the Morboso show (which would happen the next day after all). So we made our way straight to the first rows because the definite leaders of today’s death underground were about to assault our ears, necks and heads! DEAD CONGREGATION, as magnificent as always, reminded us once again the era when bands like IMMOLATION and INCANTATION were emerging from the depths of Tartara. However even these pioneers maybe never reached the levels of darkness unleashed by the Hellenic force! The closing with “Teeth Into Red” was just as immersive as expected.

ROTTING CHRIST’s last records might not be much to my taste, but this show was devoted to the old times and if anyone argues against the Greeks’ significant contribution to the black metal explosion of the early 90s then what can I say, congrats for scoring a single-digit IQ. Although not showing up with the original lineup (as initially announced), one can have no complaints in a night where blackmetal hymns like “The Fifth Illusion”, “The Fourth Knight Of The Revelation”, “Exiled Archangels” and the likes were heard and celebrated by the audience in what was to be a great closing for this unholy evening…

Day III:

Thank Satan, no queues today, but still I managed to miss BESTIAL RAIDS and got inside Fritzclub by the time ADORIOR had started their set. Perfect old-school extreme metal by the Brits, with Molester from CRUCIAMENTUM/GRAVE MIASMA punishing his drums and Melissa doing a perfect job on vocals and general perfoming. EMBRACE OF THORNS is the coming force in today’s underground as they have evolved from the raw blackmetal days of the demos to a powerful entity, with their last opus “Praying For Absolution” containing significant doses of esoteric death metal for those of spiritual strength. The above was certified once again on stage where their 35-min performance seemed too little in terms of duration for them to fully cast their darkened spells.

The BLACK WITCHERY gig that followed was what anyone would expect; total sonic destruction and a convincing evil atmosphere. Vaz had some issues with his drum set but nothing was able to hold the Floridians back. I think that “Command Of The Iron Baphomet” has become one of the top hits of this bestial black/death subterranean scene. Having got out for beer refill and talk with some guys, I never noticed that a MORBOSIDAD performance would indeed happen, so I almost missed half of their 20-minute set. Tomas Stench was obviously tired after his flight problems and this had some impact on the Americans’ output on stage, but their maniac, full-blown, old-school deathrashing hymns were still as menacing as always. And what a great surprise when Lord Angelslayer rushed to the stage for a crushing cover of ARCHGOAT’s “Hammer Of Satan”!

PROCLAMATION were next and all I can say is that nothing has changed in comparison to the other two times I’ve watched them. Followers of the BLASPHEMY cult with great double vocal attacks and a sound thick as hell, aided by the huge bass-playing. When ARES KINGDOM got on stage almost half of the arena was empty and this didn’t change much throughout their whole set. Totally underestimated band and those who chose not to watch them, missed the opportunity to listen to Chuck Keller’s out-of-this-world guitar playing! It was the absolute highlight to a great exhibition of uncompromising death/thrash metal. Go listen to “Incendiary” NOW!

Now I know that Japs SABBAT have a wide cult following them, but personally I wasn’t so much impressed by their third-class VENOM worshipping. Good for a couple of songs but nothing else to hold me there. On the other hand, REVENGE probably gave me the top moments in this year’s festival. Deafening sound, produced only by three men, with Hasiophis from ANTEDILUVIAN proudly stepping into Pete Helmkamp’s shoes (now that’s quite a great achievement, isn’t it!) in both bass and (half of the) vocal contributions, while Vermin manipulated his guitar, unleashing lethal riffs that mixed Ross Bay Cult school, primitive thrash/punk energy (BATHORY’s “War” hymn was covered in total respect to its original spirit) as well as more technical and twisted stuff. And what can one say about the beast behind the drumset, that goes by the name J. Read? The man is probably joking against 99% of today’s “super” drummers.

Finally, it was for BLASPHEMY to once again close this festival in grandeur and profanity and so they did, being the loudest band of all. Vaz filled-in behind drums for 3 Black Hearts who couldn’t make it, and the rest of the guys were a total Black Metal Mafia on stage, performing the songs that are responsible for more than two decade of bestial black/death metal. To them we bow and get prepared for wars to come…

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~ by antifleshnimbus on November 28, 2012.

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