BLOOD, FIRE, DEATH! SWEDISH BLACK METAL MILITIA POSSESS LONDON
■ IFYOU want blood, Erik Danielsson’s got it. a whole chalice of the stuff, which he raises aloft, before dumping on the front rows. a few weeks ago, K! spent a night in a London bar with Watain’s frontman, as he explained how his band’s Satanism affects his entire life. then he was a pleasant, quietly confident drinking companion. Here, he’s a corpse painted demon, surrounded by flames, leading the Swedish black metal battalion through a set that seems bent on opening the very gates of Hell itself.
Giving said gates a little knock early on are fellow Swedish diabolists Degial, featuring new Watain touring drummer Emil Svensson doing his first impressive shift of the night. Sadly, good as he is, you can’t hear anything else, and their set loses much of the band’s usual savage bite.
The same cannot be said of Watain. Erik arrives onstage bearing a flaming torch, cutting a sinister figure, setting the ceremonial tone for what follows when Legions Of The Black Light erupts.the sheer elemental force conjured up by Black Flames March, Nuclear Alchemy from their storming Trident Wolf Eclipse album, and a furious The Devil’s Blood (the point when the blood/audience interface happens) is like being hit with a mushroom cloud. But there’s more here than just flames and inverted crosses. Malfeitor packs a classic metal one-two air-punch, while early cut On Horns Impaled packs in pure, foot-on-the-monitor thrash riffs.
It’s not pleasant, but tonight, watain once again assert their dominance as black metal kings, and one of the best live metal bands in the world.
All we asked was if Erik had a light… No, they don’t know any Alltime Low covers