Watain Declares Lawlessness In New Orleans, LA
Band Photo: Black Anvil (?)
Although it was cold out, not everyone wanted to go in. Rumors of the worst smell imaginable emanating from wherever Watain plays kept many people at bay. But The Bar was still full to the brim with fans of black metal and those wanting to see if this tour was really as creepy as people said. Let me say this, the next time Watain comes, I don’t think everyone from this show will come back. The scary show filled with meat, blood, fire, and extreme music might just be too much for them.
Opening band Black Anvil set the stage for the mood of the evening, which would deliver a progressive assault on the senses, in true ear splitting razor sharp metal defiance. The trio that makes up Black Anvil mixes blackened thrash, with hard crunching riffs and a sound almost reminiscent of Enslaved, many songs coming from their album released earlier this year called “Triumvirate.” Paul Delaney on the bass and main vocals just growled with all of his force until there was nothing left, and guitarist Gary Bennett ran his wrist ragged strumming his guitar chaotically.
It’s always good to see Goatwhore back in their city. The dark metal quartet stormed the stage in true grim fashion wielding their brand of black n' roll madness that has captivated audiences throughout the world and earned them high notoriety in the metal community, touring most of the big name underground shows this year and last in support of "Carving Out The Eyes of God" released 2009 on Metal Blade. Goatwhore is able to summon enthusiasm from fans no matter where they play around town. The allegiance from the fans can be seen by everything from wearing the bands merch, raising fists , and screaming lead singer Ben Falgoust's lyrics throughout the night (usually “Who needs a God when you’ve got Satan” from the song “Apocalyptic Havoc”), and could even be heard bellowing after the crowd spilled out into the beer soaked streets. Tonight is no exception to Goatwhore's ability to deliver a high performance show of brutality and blast beat chaos, the venomous vocals cut through the rapture and offer a ambiance of terror and force. Their setlist was “This Passing Into The Power Of Demons,” “Provoking The Ritual Of Death,” “All The Sins,” “Razor Flesh Devoured,” “Alchemy Of The Black Sun Cult,” “Carving Out The Eyes Of God,” “In The Narrow Confines Of Defilement,” “The Black Art Of Deception,” “In Legions, I Am Wars Of Wrath,” "The All-Destroying,” and “Apocalyptic Havoc.”
It has been 2 years since Watain last played New Orleans, those of the few who attended the show still probably can smell the burning flesh in the clothing they wore. Now, The Bar is made completely of unfinished wood. It has a peaked roof held together by rafters, and the rafters are pretty low. Watain had three large candelabras that were almost as tall as the rafters. We were making references to the tragedy that Great White was involved with and making sure the exit was near. The stank (the only proper word to describe the smell of decaying animal flesh) was permeating the black curtains separating the back stage from the rest of the bar all night, but when they brought the meat and blood out from the cases, put it on stage and lit the candles, it became quite pungent. A few people did stay outside or left completely. And the brave ones stayed their ground in front of the stage, eventually getting sprayed with blood. Yes, real blood, although I can’t say from what animal. Corpse painted and leather-clad, Watain walked through the smoke and fog to take their places. Vocalist Erik Danielson (who's interview can be read here)was lifting the candelabras dangerously high in the tiny bar. He has taken lead vocals on this tour, a first for U.S. audiences, even stating that the band line up for this tour is more in true fashion to the full Watain line up and experience in past live settings. The band blazed into "Malfeitor", a song from the bands newest release "Lawless Darkness" which showcases the bands ability to re-invent the wheel when it comes to black metal and heavy music. The band continues to rattle bones and bring forth there channeling of the unholy spirits in the crowd catalog favorite "Devils Blood". Watain's mystique surrounds the music and transcends brilliantly into their live shows, everything from the imagery and visuals of the album art, to the aggressive head banging, spikes, corpse paint & candles…and of course the stench and blood. Watain forge a tradition of sound but are also are not afraid to tear down the stigmas of the past, and create new and challenging songs. They are very vocal about there spiritual beliefs in the music and in interviews, the band has stated that fans should go see them to expect a experience, not shock rock theater, For any listeners of heavy music, leave your pre-conceived notions at the door and embrace the black light of Watain.
If you enjoy the blackest of black metal, Watain would be fun for you to see, if you think that you can stomach rotting flesh and thick smoke clouds. This is a show that I will not soon forget, it’s a total sensory experience. But pure metal.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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