rare that I get excited about tour packages anymore. Most consist
of bands that don’t relate to each other, in genre or concept.
This however was very different. A rare treat to have four bands
that are superior in their genres and are all bound by the same
beliefs. Whether it be the occult, Satanism or both. I’m
talking about IN SOLITUDE/THE DEVIL’S BLOOD/WATAIN/BEHEMOTH.
When I heard this tour was coming near to me I had to attend.
I had a choice between Chicago, IL and Lawrence KS. Knowing how
expensive Chicago is, I opted for the Kansas show, and it is a
blessing that I did, as WATAIN’s appearance on the
tour was delayed for the first five dates. To my luck they joined
forces in Lawrence, KS.
As the legions
of metal fans made their way into the •
Theatre •, I had a feeling we were in for
an extremely interesting night. :: IN
SOLITUDE :: started the night off. Sounding heavily
influenced by Mercyful Fate, these young Swedes played like old
pros. With his ghostly appearance, vocalist Pelle surprised many
with his mighty and smooth vocal range. I was impressed and held
captivated by the leads guitarists Niklas Lindstrom and Henrik
traded off. It was also cool to see the brother team of bassist
Gottfrid and Pelle interact with each other onstage. They truly
seemed to be having fun. The band knew exactly how to play the
crowd and had them eating out of the palm of their hands. With
their style of evil heavy metal IN SOLITUDE set the tone
for what was to come next.
After a short
break it was time for :: THE
DEVIL’S BLOOD :: The whole band appeared
onstage covered in blood from head to toe, along with a heavy
3 guitarist assault. Not metal, but sounding more like Coven or
Pentagram. I noticed the guitarist, S.L., chanting before and
during their performance. Vocalist F. is witch like in appearance;
she made no contact with the audience. She was more like an eerie
animated statue while the music played. Her vocals contain more
soul and passion as if conjured up from the other side. THE
DEVIL’S BLOOD seemed to put the audience under their
spell. One thing about THE DEVIL’S BLOOD is that
their music translates much better through live performance. They
are a band to be experienced, rather than just heard alone. As
the final song played, she seemed to float offstage before the
music ended. They’re performance was beyond magical and
left the audience spellbound, it also felt like THE DEVIL’S
BLOOD had opened some spiritual door.
It was time
now for what most were waiting for and that was ::
:: Having missed the first five dates of the tour due
to visa issues, WATAIN seemed to have an infuriated pent
up energy and it was all released during this ritual. Chanting
was heard coming in and out of the speakers as they were still
setting up the stage. There was blood and lots of it. The smell
was rancid as they walked onstage. With S.L. from The Devil’s
Blood helping out on guitar it was even more powerful. Erik’s
energy alone was so chaotic it transcended into the audience.
Adorned with skulls and what looked like an impaled dead rat hanging
from his belt, he reeked of death… literally. Playing many
cuts from Lawless Darkness and due to time constraints
some of the classics weren’t heard. One thing I will say
about WATAIN, they definitely employ supernatural forces
while performing live. During Stellarvore the air pressure in
the room changed and the atmosphere became thick and ominous.
It felt as if the gates of hell were opening. A sinister feeling
lurked and at certain times whether it was due to lighting or
contacts, Erik’s eyes glowed red as if he were in fact possessed.
WATAIN never fails to excite and ignite the fires of hell.
It was one of the most thrilling performances I have ever witnessed.
They ended their ritual all too soon and left the crowd completely
It was going
to be hard to follow Watain’s performance but many had come
to see :: BEHEMOTH
:: After battling cancer Nergal was looking rather
frail in appearance. He had a lot of energy and still pulled off
his reign as front man. With a visual light show extravaganza,
the band sounded ever so powerful as they delivered the tunes.
BEHEMOTH’s vibe was not as evil as the bands that
came before them, but rather more violent. Over the years their
black metal had morphed into more of a death metal sound which
became somewhat commercialized and lost me in translation. They
were spectacular in their live performance, but I could only take
so much after the heavy feelings THE DEVIL’S BLOOD
and WATAIN left me with. This tour was an extraordinary
event that is not often seen on US soil, one that should not be
missed by any means.