Mayhem, Watain, Nocturnal Graves, Factory Theatre, Sydney 11/01/14

Leave My Crust On Thanks....

Nocturnal Graves initiated this unholy night of debauchery holding the audience in the palm of their charcoal covered hands. Categorized as black/thrash metal, the audience were enjoying the best of both worlds; the grim crust of the dearly beloved black metal and the vigour and veracity of thrash metal. Noted as one of Erik Danielsson’s preferred black metal bands from Australia – it became apparent shortly after their set started how sincere and salient this band really is, with an abundance of energy, sharp guitar work and an awe inspiring slam the crowd was eating it up.

Watain on stage; lead by the illusive and genuinely striking Erik Danielsson. A gargantuan and spine-chilling performance was unfolding in front of our eyes as darkness and shadows crept sporadically throughout the audience as if the performance was recited by the devil himself. A haunted Danielsson took the crowds to places only demons dwell as we roared for Devil’s Blood and howled at Sleepless Evil. An evil Danielsson gazed over his devotees as we wailed uncontrollably with every silence sharply ended with chants of ‘Watain!, ‘Watain’!, ‘Watain’! Fists in the air; hurling back and forth with such intent to songs such as Reaping Death and Outlaw.

The venue grew more intimate and as the corpse paint mixed with sweat in the moshpit, Mayhem drew out of the dim and instigated their wrath on Sydney. A live performance I have wanted to witness for quite some time, primarily in order to study the crowd and their allegiance to this controversial band and to hear first hand a live account of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. The years had seen no ageing, for Mayhem were on top of their game, drawing every bead of sweat from the crowd and spewing it back with hate and lust for all things macabre. Monsters they were, monsters taking no-one alive, with morbid theatrics and some peculiar props, we were indeed witnessing something hallowed, a tale of the malice this genre inflicts. Stage diving, crowd surfing, spitting, biting, the audience were in a frenzy, intoxicated from the haze of Carnage and Ancient Skin

Witnessing Mayhem is making a correlation to the deep seated and heinous past the band has been made famous for. From the strength resinating in the pit; its legacy has kept strong within the black metal community. Bloodcurdling vocals leaped from the gut of Attila and matched flawlessly with the man himself; Hellhammer (another reason to witness Mayhem this evening) who’s drumming was faultless and echoed through the beer and (fake) blood soaked crowd. It is easy for black metal at times to seem tasteless and cheap; and there were some moments I had some raised eyebrows, however this is black metal, the good, the really bad and the fucking ugly; it is here to stay and has immortalized itself with one hell of a history. For all those whose constitutions could stomach it had a blast, it was indeed a sinister evening and one I’m glad I didn’t miss.