|» Watain 2015 02 28||
Hailing from Uppsala along with this evening's main act, Degial has become somewhat of a favourite opening act of Watain's. I truly enjoy Degial's sole full-length 'Death's Striking Wings'. Its dark death metal ought to do really well in a live setting yet my experience of Degial on stage have been somewhat disappointing. In Uppsala 2014 despite quite a good sound, the cloaked mist-covered band was void of any connection with the audience. This time the situation is rather reversed.
Ditching the robes and excessive use of the smoke machine in favour of corpse paint, leather and a rather dim light setting, does miracles for connecting with the audience. Despite being few in numbers, painfully few actually, those at the front give it all to pay tribute to the band. The band is full of energy and even though frontman H. Death could give us something more than just presenting some of the songs by name I am infinitely more convinced of Degial's abilities as a live act after this evening.
Much of the experience is unfortunately ruined by an initially horrible
sound. Way too low in volume and murky with poorly audible guitars, the
sound does not come even close to being acceptable until the monumental
closer 'Serpent's Tide' which incidentally becomes the peak of this gig.
Performance: 7 chalices
(sorry, no setlist)
Apart from releasing a string of brilliant black metal albums, Watain is widely known to deliver an onslaught on stage. When I first saw them live in Stockholm 2010 I was captured by the ritualistic setup of their splendid performance. Finishing the gig in semi-trance along with the rest of the audience when 'Waters of Ain' faded, that show remains one of my best live experiences. Four and a half years later, Watain delivers once again. The band has an immense live routine and has shown the conviction of their cause time after another. This evening is no exception.
Every Watain show is like a carefully orchestrated sermon, everything has a purpose and nothing is left to chance. Erik Danielsson has a firm grip of the audience and the rest of the band does not take any unnecessary moments to breath. Unfortunately the start of the set is hampered by the same sound flaws as Degial suffered earlier. This does however improve quite rapidly and when 'The Wild Hunt' brilliantly marks the middle of the set by turning down the sharp intensity for a moment the sound has reached acceptable quality albeit never becoming really good.
By chance, or perhaps not at all, this coincides with Danielsson's blessing
of the audience by chucking a bowl of putrefied blood over the front rows.
Although some in the shamefully small audience certainly does not agree
with me and decide to move backwards, this proved to be the final nail
in the coffin, putting me into that semi-trance I have come to expect
from a Watain gig. The carefully chosen setlist reach its zenith when
'Legions of the Black Light' and 'Malfeitor' close the sermon. A sermon
that proves that Watain live is more than just an experience.
Performance: 8 chalices