Behemoth -- Moscow, Russia -- September 23rd, 2012
My second time seeing Behemoth, last night's show was one of the most intense I had been to all year. Though the sound at the venue was not a huge improvement over Graspop's marquee, it was good enough to not ruin the show for me this time around. The house was packed, unsurprisingly; the queue was a block-and-a-half long an hour-and-a-half before doors. Several members of the audience were already piss-drunk then, harassing people in cars as they waited to drive into the parking lot adjacent to the venue, yelling slander at them such as "bourgeoisie", which was funny since most of them turned out to be VIP-ticket holders, which cost approximately ten times more than general admission tickets.
Russian openers Sinful were very boring, as expected. Last.fm had them labelled as symphonic black metal, which lowered my expectations beforehand. Though it wasn't very accurate (at least in a live environment) they still sucked, with some riffs almost note-for-note copies of Autopsy, Death, and Dark Funeral songs. A wasted thrasher up front with me spent most of their set flipping them off; sure it was rude, but they lobbied to get onto the bill a few days before the show. Taking into consideration that Behemoth's set turned out to only be thirteen songs, we had all the right in the world to chastise them for taking up precious time that evening. I'm not familiar with what they played aside from a Dimmu Borgir cover, but since I don't listen to DB, I can't say what it was called.
Japanese special guests Survive were up next. They were out of place, being a thrash band, but they kicked ass and received a great reception. Aside from the clean vocal bridges, 'twas a very good forty-five minutes of metal. Great hair, too. I almost caught their setlist after their set, but only managed to rip off the bottom (by accident). It had 8-10 songs listed, with #8 named "Fuck". It's probably not the whole title, but it's all I've got for y'all.
After a lengthy wait, Behemoth came onstage. Since a full tour of Russia was cancelled in 2010 due to Nergal's being diagnosed with leukemia, Russian Behemoth fans have been waiting to see the band. Their second time in Moscow and in Russia overall, the band began Ov Fire and the Void to a deafening scream from the audience. As mentioned before, Nergal's vocals were much more audible this time when compared to their Graspop performance, but at times one could only barely make out what he was singing. I was glad that the setlist differed from the summer festival tour setlist, which was in nature a greatest hits setlist. Despite the relatively short length of the setlist, the show seemed to be very long, and I found myself so overwhelmed by the chaos around me (even up front) by the end of the show that I was hoping it'd end sooner. 'Christians to the Lions', 'The Seed ov I', 'At the Left Hand ov God', and 'Lucifer' were the highlights of the show, especially. Below is the setlist, found on setlist.fm. Highlighted in green are songs not played in June at Graspop.
Ov Fire and the Void
Christians to the Lions
The Seed ov I
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
Decade of Therion
At the Left Hand ov God
Slaves Shall Serve
Chant for Eschaton 2000
23 (The Youth Manifesto)
7/4 Modest Mouse, Echo & the Bunnymen
8/11 Protest the Hero
8/27 Metallica, Mastodon