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Rotting Christ And Inquisition Burn Down London On The "Bloodshed Rituals" Tour

Photo of Rotting Christ

Band Photo: Rotting Christ (?)

There have been a number of tours this year that have delighted fans of a specific sub-genre of metal in Europe. Destruction took to the road with fellow old school thrashers Flotsam and Jetsam, bringing with them younger fast bands, Enforcer and Nervosa, while we've also seen some dream pairings such as Exodus and Obituary on their "Battle of the bays" tour and the recently covered Amon Amarth and Testament trek. On this night however, it was the turn of devoted black metal fans to be treated when the "Bloodshed Rituals" tour rolled into London, featuring co-headlining slots from Inquisition and Rotting Christ.

Though unfortunately missing out on opening act, Schammasch due to conducting an interview with Rotting Christ frontman, Sakis Tolis, I was able to see the second band, Mystifier, a black metal group from Brazil who themselves are longtime veterans of the genre. Founded by the charismatic guitarist Beelzeebubth in 1989, the band have not released any new material in fifteen years but have clearly created a legacy for themselves given the reception they received when taking to the stage and those in the audience wearing their shirts. The trio put on a solid performance, no doubt winning over those in the crowd who were not familiar with them during a slot which clearly meant much to them.

Up next was Greece's own black metal heroes, Rotting Christ. Touring in support of their new album, "Rituals," which was released in February of this year, the quartet aired plenty of material from the record including the single, "Apage Satanas" and "Elthe Kyrie" among others. Their more recent albums seemed to take precedence in the set, with the band performing "In Yumen/Xibalba" and "Grandis Spiritus Diavolos" from the "Katá ton Daímona Eaf_toú" and "The Sign of Prime Creation" from "Theogonia." Older material was revisited too of course, most notably closing the performance with the title track from their sophomore album, "Non Serviam." It was a powerful show from start to finish, with Sakis Tolis imposing a charismatic and almost cult leader like figure, driving the crowd into a frenzy and spurring them on from the moment he took to the stage. Those of you who are fans of the band or extreme metal and have not seen Rotting Christ yet, you would be well advised to put them on your bucket list.

Finally, it was the turn of Inquisition, the black metal group which began in 1988 in Colombia but relocated to the United States in 1996 and have operated as a duo more or less since. Taking to the stage in a haze of smoke, albeit to a noticeably, though not dramatically, thinner crowd, the band unleashed a sonic assault on those who remained. Again, they performed a set which mixed their older, some might say "classic" material with that from their new album, "Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith." The two have a very dark presence on stage, barely emerging from shadow and cutting darkened figures throughout the show. All in all, a solid performance which delighted the big fans that were in the crowd, though one would have to question why Inquisition performed their set after Rotting Christ, as they more than likely would have received a bigger crowd, though no doubt they would have still been pleased with the reception they got on this cold night of black metal.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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