Watain -- Detroit, MI -- October 14th, 2013
Storm of the Antichrist
The Devilís Blood
All That May Bleed
Sworn to the Dark
The Serpentís Chalice
On Horns Impaled
The Wild Hunt
To Her Darkness
A Buried Sun
We Were Never Here
When The Sky Is Black With Devils
Beyond The Horror
Wanderer in the Outer Darkness
Iím back home in Detroit for a couple weeks, so I decided to check out Watain and their Swedish brethren of In Solitude and Tribulation. I walked into the Magic Stick about 40 minutes after doors and waited about 20 more minutes for Tribulation to start. Shirts for all bands were $20 and I think each band had 2 designs. Iím glad I got there when I did since there were no local openers and I have wanted to see Tribulation when I fell in love with their album The Horror a couple years ago. I personally donít think their release from this year, Formulas of Death, was as strong as The Horror; but hearing the songs live has made me give this one another spin. I would say that their look and sound is Judas Priest and Motley Crue meet Bathory and Mayhem. Eyeliner and spandex under their vests and occult-symboled jewelry alongside power ballads hidden under blast beats and black metal guitar tone. If you plan to attend this tour and are unfamiliar with these guys I would do yourself a favor and check out The Horror and/or Formulas of Death.
In Solitude was next and I was interested to see them as well since I missed them after arriving late to the Behemoth/Watain tour last year. The frontman for In Solitude had some interesting/excellent stage banter before songs. For example, his intro to one song was something like, ďI stood on a beach in Northern Sweden and watched as 6000 horses rode out of the ocean and I wished I was dead.Ē I thought In Solitude sounded pretty good. On this board Iíll probably get ripped apart for saying it, but I think they have a heavy Iron Maiden/NWOBHM-vibe that can come off as a little forced at times, but ultimately is also what defines their sound. Even the bands that are good at riding the current wave of that retro-metal throwback sound are going to run out of steam in the next year if they canít move beyond that gimmick.
So finally Watain came out to give the less than half-full venue a Monday night black metal spectacle. In what I can imagine would be venue restrictions they didnít have the full stage set up that I have witnessed at the Texas shows and without all of that fun stuff the smell level was probably about 60% of what Iíve experienced at past Watain shows. However, it was still enough to make a few metalheads and their girlfriends disgusted to the point of moving to the back of the venue and had the bartenders spraying air freshener back near the bar every few minutes. It didnít smell much worse than the rest of downtown Detroit, so I really donít see what all the fuss was. They had stage props that were essentially walls made of large canvases with flesh stretched over them and bones protruding at various angles, a very Hellraiser feel. They had a small altar in front of the drum kit that contained a skull, a chalice of blood, a sacrificial knife and some incense. The fog machine was set up between the altar and drum kit as well, so smoke was pouring up to the ceiling from behind Erik, which also created a cool effect. The band sounded good, but I just donít think some of the new material stands up when in the setlist alongside memorable Watain tracks like Sworn to the Dark and Stellarvore. I know some of the trve kvlt metal dudes out their have shit on Watain with their last couple albums, but Iíd much rather see and hear black metal played with true conviction and passion than another run-of-the-mill half-hearted death metal band. Iím interested in seeing what the stage show is like at a more lax venue when Iím back in Texas; another round of Tribulation is just icing on the cake.
10/21 - Pallbearer / Tombs / Vattnet Viskar ?
11/10 - Carcass / Macabre / Exhumed ?
11/12 - Onslaught / Artillery ?