Date: November 30, 2013

Location: Second Skin Club, Athens

I’ll start with the negative aspect of this event. All three bands taking part in the ceremony, suffered from an awful monitor sound on stage. I’m not going to blame anyone (the artists themselves have made their own statements) but it is a total shame in the year 2013 on a night when a special atmosphere has evolved and powerful sounds are about to be played, all this being destroyed by technical problems. However, I have to say that from where I was standing, I could listen decently and relatively clearly. Let’s go straight to the musical happenings though.

Heretic Cult Redeemer @ Occult Black/Death Ritual vol. 5 HERETIC CULT REDEEMER are a new addition to the domestic occult/orthodox blackmetal circle, yet some of their members are all but juniors since vocalist Funus has attributed to older ACRIMONIOUS releases while drummer V. torments the drum kits of EMBRACE OF THORNS, RESURGENCY and NECROVOROUS among many others. Plus, HCR entered our lives emphatically with their self-titled record crushing some bones, as it follows traditional as well as more contemporary teachings of the Scandinavian (mainly Swedish I would say) blackmetal orthodoxy. What was not expected though, was the live interpretation of their material as they seemed nothing like an inexperienced band on stage. Tight consistency on guitars, amazing vocal renderings (including an indefinably extra-terrestrial aura) from the white clad monk Funus and hammering drums led to an exquisite, devout atmosphere and filled Second Skin with the first appropriate vibes.

Serpent Noir @ Occult Black/Death Ritual vol. 5The next part came with the appearance of SERPENT NOIR, their third on stage after the ones in KAWIR’s anniversary show and Incubate festival on Tilburg, Netherlands. This time, having Cain Latifer from mighty ACRIMONIOUS on second guitar, the live versions of their songs were fittingly broadened and minute-by-minute the magick in the club’s air became more and more perceivable. The opening track “Allies From The Black Sun Universe” was the ideal vehicle to penetrate into the parallel universe of the Drakon, where, among others, the melodies of “Black Sphere”, “Voids Of Samael” and “Sorath Invocation” ruled supreme. We also had the honour to listen to new song “Dreaming Iblis” from the upcoming release (somewhere in 2014 –one of the most anticipated ones), while they perfectly “owned” THERION’s “Melez”. I, from my perspective, after confessing that I needed about ten or more minutes after their set’s end to come to my earthly senses and be able to mutter a word, I ought to “complain” (with humor of course) to dear Yannis that once again I didn’t get the chance to listen to their grandiose side from the “Gateways To The Nightside” split.

Acherontas @ Occult Black/Death Ritual vol. 5A little time has passed and the familiar scenery that accompanies the rituals of ACHERONTAS with the skulls, the candles and the censers is being set up as the band is ready to close triumphantly a year during which they released the brilliant “Amenti” and appeared in numerous European sites taking part in important blackmetal events like the Death Kult festival, the Prague Death Mass, Black Flames Of Blasphemy in Finland and many more. Unfortunately, it was not meant for them to say farewell to their native supporters because of the problems mentioned in the prologue, which by that time has become almost insurmountable leading initially to a brief interruption and ultimately to the premature ending of their set. Even so, pieces like “Blood Current Illumination” and “Wanpyric Metamorphosis” shook appropriately the audience and so did the always delightful “Legacy Of Tiamat”.

We thank them for their persistence and the same applies for the other two bands as all of them surpassed the setbacks in order to repay support from the small but devoted amount of people that attended the show. As HERETIC CULT REDEEMER very aptly wrote about the situation:

“As for the difficulties, we have to say that last night was a proof that only the strong survive and moving forward as the light of their soul flickering like the stars to eternity! There’s nothing to be afraid…”

~ by antifleshnimbus on December 10, 2013.

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