Rotting Christ/Immolation/Belphegor/Averse Sefira @ Bedford, NH, 2/9/08

This being the first concert I’ve attended since the blog’s launch, the New Hampshire leg of the “Lucifer over America” tour will be covered in my first live review. Despite foul winter weather, a sizable crowd showed up to Mark’s Showplace in Bedford, New Hampshire to experience some of the best black/death metal offered today. Being used to more concert-hall and open-area spaces like the Palladium and the Bank of America Pavillion, it took some time to acquiesce to the more intimate atmosphere of a small stage crammed next to the bar in a billiards hall. However the acoustics were not terribly affected by such dimensions, especially when standing in the front row, as I did for the entire concert. This was essential to my enjoyment of songs I wasn’t familiar with. The guitar tones of each band were sufficiently distinct and not drowned out by the bass or percussion sections.

aversesefira

First up was Averse Sefira, a three man black metal act out of Austin Texas. This was my first experience with these guys, and I was very impressed by their show. Their music was dark, violent and seething. The vocalist’s intensity was not hindered by his multitasking playing lead guitar. Besides the music itself, the presentation was worthy of note. They dressed in typical corpse-paint, spikes and leather, but they wore it with class and artistic flare. It served more to enhance their intimidating character than to animate any cheesiness. I picked up their brand new album, Advent Parallax, after the show and got Sanguine Mapsama (guitars/vocals) to autograph it.

belphegor

Next up was the Austrian black/death unit Belphegor, who dove right into a relentless blast-fest that really got the crowd fired up (too bad moshing was prohibited by the venue). The clarity of the sound was critical in this performance, as the lead guitar melodies, in contrast to the crushing rhythms, form the core of Belphegor‘s sound. Through every song the guitars were quite audible and it was like listening to their albums, only at an insanely high volume. The band played a eclectic mix of their discography, including “Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador”, “Swarm of Rats”, “Seyn Tod in Schwarz”, and “Lucifer Incestus”. To show my support I purchased a Pestapokalypse VI t-shirt and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of their latest album Bondage Goat Zombie. That album is scheduled for release on April 11th through Nuclear Blast Records.

immolation

Next up was Immolation, who along with Suffocation and Incantation comprise the big three of New York Death Metal. Once again I benefitted from an audible sound coming through the guitar amps, since most of the songs were unfamiliar to me. Of the album I have heard, Harnessing Ruin, they played “Swarm of Terror” and “Son of Iniquity” with more force than can be heard on the album. Also in their setlist were numbers from their venerable debut Dawn of Possession and their latest album Shadows in the Light. Crushing.

rottingchrist

And then came the main event, the “Greek Gods”, Rotting Christ. I only recently got into this band, mainly because I didn’t approve of its moniker. But in anticipation of this tour I picked up their latest album, Theogonia, which centers on a mythological theme compatible with my interests. A band that started out playing grindcore and then black metal, now play a healthy mix of black metal and gothic metal to create a powerful, evocative sound with heavy doses of Eastern themes. Every member of this band, the vocalist/guitarist especially, showed great enthusiasm throughout their shorter-than-expected set, which included the songs “Enuma Elish”, “Non Serviam”, “Χαος Γενετο (The Sign of Prime Creation)” and “Nemecic”. I could tell some of the stalwarts were disappointed by their performance, since it was devoid of earlier songs from their black metal era. Regardless, I was well pleased with the show, and I recommend you attend this tour if it’s swinging by your town anytime soon.

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2 Responses to “Rotting Christ/Immolation/Belphegor/Averse Sefira @ Bedford, NH, 2/9/08”

  1. I think I should write a review from outside the club

  2. Sounds like it was fun! Immolation are certainly better live than on CD

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