Jan 9, 2015

Watain - Soundstage

By Bob Suehs



January 9, 2015


Baltimore, Maryland


Watain Set List: Deaths Cold Dark, Black Flames March, Total Funeral, Storm, Puzzles, Cenotaph, The Wild Hunt, Outlaw, Earth, On Horns, Sworn, Malfeitor

Formed in 1998 and taking their name from a record by American Death Metal band Von, Watain have earned their place amongst the black metal legions through solid record releases and constant touring. Watain graced Baltimore with a 2015 tour stop and they never dissapoint when you see them live.

Doors opened at 7 PM and Revenge took the stage at 8 PM but this show was a tad different than most of the nights on this tour because the nights headliner MAYHEM had to cancel due to visa issues.

Revenge played an hour long set which was followed 30 minutes later by Watain. The interesting part of this show was that Watain had the option to play a much longer set than normal and they gave the crowd 20 extra minutes thus making their set 80 minutes as opposed to 60 minutes.

Watain’s set had a “Spinal Tap” styled intro which I don’t believe was planned. Watain’s intro music played for what seemed like forever, then once the intro ended the lights were still dim and the band was nowhere to be seen. I took a peak behind the stage curtain and saw band members slowly coming out of their dressing room. What was supposed to happened once the intro tape ended was that the band SHOULD have stormed the stage ready to rock. Instead, the band took the stage a few minutes after the intro tape ended and a distorted guitar noise was the instant start of the set.

The first recording by Watain was a demo entitled, “Go Fuck Your Jewish "God"” and it’s something the band has stated they have no intentions of rereleasing.

Erik Danielsson is a small guy who’s onstage presence comes across larger than life due in part to his bloody, demonic onstage persona which leads Watain’s demonic army quite nicely. Erik’s onstage rituals involve christening skulls with real animal blood, worshipping his skull alter, and baptizing the audience with real blood. I will admit that being up front to take pictures the bulk of the stage had a very “musty” and “stale/foul” smell which isn’t something you usually smell at a rock show!

Watain most recent release “The Wild Hunt” is the bands 5th studio release and to date their most ambitious record which shows musical growth.

On this particular night there were no severed pig heads which I personally had no issue with because the last time Watain played here they brought the dead piggy with them and all I can tell you is once you smell that thing you will never forget that stench!

The interesting thing about this night was how Watain chose to end their set because with Mayhem not playing they had the option to play a very long set. Watain gave the crowd 20 extra minutes and that was it. As usual, once the last song played the band thanked the crowd & exited the stage while their ambient ceremony music played in the background. The entire show was over before 10:30 PM on a Friday night which made me laugh just a little because even Steel Panther play till Midnight!

On a random side note I will admit that I was also pleasantly surprised to actually see pretty girls in the crowd which isn’t the norm at most death metal shows!