CONCERT REVIEW: Behemoth/Watain/The Devil’s Blood/In Solitude, Palladium, Worcester

In Solitude is a good opening band, but that’s about it. They burst onto stage with loads of energy, especially vocalist Pelle Åhman. He bounced around the stage like a wild man, occasionally smacking himself in the forehead with the microphone a la G.G. Allin. His vocals were rather sloppy, although one gets the impression this was an intentional delivery. As far as their music goes, their songs are too long. If you get the chance to see them open for somebody, it’s worth getting there early. Otherwise, there isn’t too much special here. Overall, horns up.

The Devil’s Blood’s songs were long as well, but with their doomier style it worked. They were the mildest band of the evening, dipping further into the rock realm than that of metal most of the time. In addition to the vocalist, drummer, and bassist, they are one of the few bands that has three guitarists on stage. Despite one of them having amp problems, they pulled this off well. They played to the audience very little, yet one them over. They get horns up.

Watain is not one of my favorite black metal bands. Yet, so far they managed to be the most powerful and evil of the lot on stage. One could tell that darkness was approaching as the stage hands brought out goat skulls during sound check, while dark ambient music filtered through the house P.A. system. The group brought the energy level of the room back up with bombastic and usually fast music. While their songs aren’t always the best for moshing with syncopated rhythms and tempo changes, the crowd went wild. I’m going to have to check out their studio recordings in the future. Last night I realized that there’s more to their music than I thought. Horns up.

Behemoth was the first death metal band that I ever saw. Sadly, I lost the t-shirt that has the exact date. To give you some idea, they were touring to support the Demigod album. They opened for Suffocation on the upstairs stage of the Palladium. I’ve seen them several more times, always as direct support for somebody (although downstairs). Each time their audience seemed to get bigger, with more people knowing the songs.

Now that Behemoth main man Nergal is back in action from his bout with leukemia, the band returns with a headlining tour. The Palladium was pretty full of fans enthusiastic about every song they played. I need not describe how pummeling their music is here. The sound was perfect and each song was played with precision. Aside from the crew cut, Nergal is showing no signs of suffering from the disease. He seemed more energetic than every other time I’ve seen him, even when he stood still with an intense gaze out into the crowd. All of the fan favorites were here, primarily focusing on the more recent albums (although they omitted a staple song, “As Above, So Below.”)

My only complaint is that I wanted more. Overall, Behemoth gets horns up as far as they can reach.

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