Friday the 13th of April 2012. Chicagoland lay beneath a cold grey sky. The windy city was living up to its other known name. I ventured forth from my quiet wooded hamlet in the north to partake in the glorious heathenry and debauchery of declared freedom and independence – The Decibel Magazine Tour.
Featuring a varied lineup of elite bands, veterans and journeymen of the left hand path, the tour began its odyssey on April 11th in Ohio and will wind its way through North America to arrive at its closing ceremony in New York City on May 12th. I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the musical rituals of these bands on its third night beneath the ceiling and narrow hall of The Bottom Lounge, just west of downtown Chicago. Unfortunately, due to the natural chaos of the universe and the interference of man, Watain had been postponed and I missed their musical display by only a handful of days. Though, my disappoint was quickly salved when the first hum of the guitar amp tickled my ears and shook my flesh.
Continue here for complete details of the experience and browse through the multitude of pictures.
From a small room back stage, I heard the fist few songs of Wolvhammer through an echoing hallway and a thin steel door. It sounded interesting. Upon arriving in the main hall I was immediately impressed with the sound of this Minneapolis/Chicago based band. Their sound was tight, the guitar work crushing, the drums pounding, and the vocals harsh and biting. Damn impressive. So listen up you heathens and cretins between Minneapolis and Chicago, if you see a Wolvhammer flyer in a local public restroom, pay attention to the place and time and get your ass there on time. You won’t be disappointed.
I will openly admit that when In Solitude‘s promo for The World. The Flesh. The Devil. came up on my local playlist I gave it only a casual listen and didn’t pay much attention to it after that. Well, after being assaulted by their epic throwback sound of 80’s power and thrash metal they have my absolute attention now. With guitars raised in the air and band mates crashing around the stage, In Solitude knows how to create an addicting energy that is transferred from the stage to the crowd in a tide of loud and epic metal.
The Devil’s Blood provides listeners with a unique and genuine experience, one of psychedelic rock that has been embraced by many practitioners of the heavy metal culture. There is only one way to describe The Devil’s Blood live experience – transcendental. I had the opportunity before the show to sit down with Selim Lemouchi to philosophize and meditate over words. So my mind was freshly open and soul ready to be newly exposed to the ritual music of The Devil’s Blood in a new and sensual way. Recorded with a psychedelic and trippy song structure, when on stage, their sound embraces the chaos of the universe as The Devil’s Blood becomes an elite jam band – those are the moments when you appreciate the music ritual that you are a part of. This is the truth of my personal Devil’s Blood experience.
Finally, the moment that many were waiting for had arrived. When Behemoth took the stage and Nergal stood centerstage with arms outstretched and palms held upward, the crowd went absolutely crazy with devil horns thrown up in the air. I’ve been a very casual Behemoth fan over the years. While I’ve always had a deep and profound level of respect for them – the blackened death metal sound has always been a passing curiosity for me. That night Behemoth played their highly technical and brutal sound with absolute perfection. Their stage presence draws you in as they blast you with their exquisitely savage sound. After experiencing the performance provided by these metal pioneers, I have been converted.
I recommend that any metal fan, both casual and hardened, catch one of the remaining shows of this tour. Each band brings its own unique flavor of sound that makes for an evening for any heathen or cretin to truly remember.
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