May 5, 2012

Behemoth / Watain - Ram's Head Live

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

The Decibel Magazin 2012 Tour

featuring: Behemoth / Watain / The Devils Blood May 5, 2012

Ram’s Head Live

Baltimore, Maryland

Behemoth Set list:

Of Fire & The Void, Intro, Demigod, Moonspell, Conquer All, Intro, 1000 Plagues, Alas, The Seed of I, Decade of the Theron, Intro, At The Left Hand of God, Slaves Shall Serve, Chant For Ezkaton, Intro, 23, Lucifer

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Watain Set List:

Malfeltor, Reaping, Serpents, Stellarvore, Total, Waters

The 2012 Decibel Magazine Tour was an interesting mix of the best Black metal bands the world has to offer in 2012 with Polish demigod’s Behemoth as the nights headliners ALTHOUGH it was clear from the crowd that Watain could have easily headlined the night!

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When I arrived In Solitude was onstage & they sounded great...very old school metal sounding & the crowd seemed to enjoy their set.

I’ll admit that I was unsure where the lines for death metal & black metal crossed because the bands on this bill were a mix of both sides and the set from The Devils Blood didn’t fit the bill if I’m being honest with you and it’s because the bands music was NOT death metal at all!

The band members took the stage under the cover of darkness & when the stage was finally lit you could see that each member of the band was dripping with what looked like red blood & it stained the members faces, chests, instruments & pants in a style that almost reminded me of the dance scene from the movie “Carrie” where the outcast star was drenched in pigs blood.

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Musically the band had 3 guitarists onstage & their tone was actually a clean Fender Strat sound which is not normal for bands of this style & I’ll admit I definitely enjoyed the clear Fender guitar tone because usually with this style of music you have overly distorted drop c riffs that sound like pure sludge but with this band the guitars were very clear.

My cynical mind went into overdrive when I saw the bands female singer covered in the fake blood because I immediately started to think “that time of the month” jokes & you couldn’t help but think her flow must have been SUPER heavy to be covered in that much blood!

I also heard a kid in the crowd say that the singer for Devils Blood must have eaten alot of Devil’s Food because she was a larger woman & I’ll admit that was just mean but it made me laugh!

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All jokes aside, The Devils Blood sounded good. Their musicianship was solid but I don’t think they needed 3 guitars although it did allow them to layer their sounds quite well & during the end of the bands set they did a 10 minute instrumental track which was simply epic in it’s melodic overtones & delivery.

The Devils Blood sounded good yet the crowd did not seem to really care and it’s because the music they played was not really fitting to the bill...the other bands were more extreme whereas The Devils Blood were more melodic & mood oriented.

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When The Devils Blood finished their set I checked out their merch table and one of their t-shirts made me laugh my ass off...quite literally, they have a shirt that has a naked woman on it & she’s holding her crotch which is bleeding & the shirt says “The Devils Blood”....I give the band credit for the best metal shirt I’ve seen in quite some time!

Watain were up next and the bands stage set up was really cool looking because they had these huge candelabras set up all over the stage with real lighted candles. Each Candelabra was connected with chains, skulls & upside down crosses which made the entire stage look evil & almost like a sacrifice was about to begin!

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In reality though, when I went inside the barricade to take photos of the band I did kinda laugh at how much effort went into making things look spooky because Watain play it up in a style that’s almost like a death metal version of KISS...their costumes are pretty cool, the stage set up was awesome & they really give the crowd a show to remember!

The only guy in the band that was slightly goofy had to be the bands bass player & it’s because his make up design was messy compared to how intricate the others overall designs were not to mention he’s losing his hair on top. Trying to photograph this band is a challenge because they rely almost exclusively on red lights & the candle light for lighting!

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The set list was short in terms of how many songs they actually played BUT it’s simply because most of their songs were around 6-10 minutes long...the band played a really strong hour long set that left an impression on the crowd. I actually saw people leaving after Watain’s set and that surprised me because I had no idea they had that kind of fan base here in the USA!

Up next were the nights headliners....Behemoth!

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Behemoth have always been a good live band and I was actually surprised to see the band touring this soon after Adam “Nergal” Darski had just recently won his battle fighting leukemia!

When Nergal took the stage the first noticeable thing was his short hair and he looked healthy & sounded great.

When the band took the stage it reminded me of a druid ceremony because they came out in total darkness with hoods on & the music started slowly. All hell broke loose when the band kicked into their set with non stop metal that mixed thrash, death, & speed metal quite well and the band sounded great!

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Most bands have their amps behind them but Behemoth had their stage set up where their amps were all on the sides of the stage so the back of the stage was for props. The tops of their amps were used as places to set the flashing lights which went off throughout the entire set & that added ambiance to the show.

One odd side note about the bands costumes on this tour is that they all seemed to have mismatched stage gear. The bass player only had one big boot cover, Nergal only had one sleeve on his shirt, most of the giant metal spikes which the band almost always wore on their costumes were gone & I couldn’t quite figure out what the bands exact look was supposed to be in the grand scheme of things because with Watain they were clearly death metal satanists, The Devils Blood were covered in blood, but with Behemoth they were dressed in pieces of their past costumes with just a bit of a more modern feel to their older outfits....it reminded me of the current costumes KISS have for their “Monster” tour which are essentially updated versions of what they had on their “Sonic Boom” tour.

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All in all the show was great. The crowd loved the show & I can’t end this review without saying what I saw in the most pit this night....literally, there was a guy in a wheel chair who tried to crowd surf! You might ask how & why this was possible and the best way to explain it is, the crowd lifted the entire wheel chair up and the chair with the guy setting in it was crowd surfing. Security rushed over immediately to stop that situation but for about a minute there was a man in a wheel chair crowd surfing and I heard one of the security guys say, “That guy’s a nut!”

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