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Watain & Destroyer 666 Show Report Phoenix, Arizona March 18th, 2018

Between the shitstorm that Destroyer 666 were a part of last year and the recent war between “edgy” (a borrowed description…) black metal bands defending against self-righteous keyboard justice warriors, I didn’t know what to expect at Watain and Destroyer 666’s Phoenix, Arizona date. Just a week earlier, Destroyer 666 was booted off their Bay Area date. Watain, showing support for their touring brethren, basically told the venue to go fuck themselves and pulled out of the date as well. Another venue had stepped up to host the show but inexplicably cancelled a few days later. In light of all this drama, Phoenix did not disappoint. There was no bullshit, no drama, only metal and Watain’s Disciples.

I have to admit, I’m not an avid listener of Destroyer 666, but I did want to check out what all the chatter was about that was filling up comment sections of several metal blogs in 2017. I thought they were solid, but their sound reminds me of early European thrash metal ala early Kreator. They didn’t blow my mind musically but the raw and intensity of their sound had massive appeal a couple of decades ago. For some, this style is fresh and new and turns their crank. For this writer, I was counting down the number of songs left of their 45-minute set.

While I was watching Watain’s road crew set up what seemed to be a minefield of battle worn, inverted crosses and tridents throughout the front and backline of the stage, I came to a harsh realization. With the feverish intensity that shows and whole tours are being cancelled with recent success in the United States of Offended People with only a few strokes of a keyboard, I needed to let it all soak in tonight because I may have to travel overseas to catch Watain from now on.

As the string section of Watain were taking their spots in front on either side of the drum riser, the overwhelming stench of urine was starting to invade our nostrils. Mercifully, within a minute or so, they kicked their set off with “Devil’s Blood.” They continued to rip through a set that included several songs off of their latest full-length, “Trident Wolf Eclipse,” released earlier in the year. I was surprised to hear The Serpent’s Chalice from “Sworn to the Dark,” according to Setlist FM, it hasn’t been played on tour since 2014. Nevertheless, they ended their spectacular set with it.

The final words that Erik Danielsson conveyed to the crowd that night were “To the fucking death, hail Satanas!” With that exclamation point, the crowd responded zealously and he began his usual post show ritual to “Requiem XIII.” For those that haven’t been to a Watain show for whatever reason, I’m not going to describe it to you. Get out their and support the artists that choose to not follow the flock. Be free.

Greekbastard's avatar

Metal isn't just a type of music, it's a lifestyle for Nikos Mixas. In addition to playing guitar for the Phoenix's own Twingiant, he's a contributing writer for PureGrainAudio.com and The Sludgelord. And when he's taking a break from it all and on vacation, you can almost be certain he's banging his head at a metal festival somewhere interesting.

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