Sea of Tranquility's Ken Pierce and Pete Pardo were on hand for one of the hottest extreme metal evening's in recent memory at New York City's BB King Blues Club. Say's Ken Pierce, "This was going to be a concert for the record books for not only would we be finding ourselves in a sold out room for Morbid Angel, one of the true legends of Death Metal; but we would also be finding the appearance of the devastating Behemoth from Poland and the skull-crushing power of Krisiun. I remember seeing many of these bands on their own and feeling my bones shake in my skin so I was not sure that I would be able to handle the three of them together in one sitting. Given each group is of some note I wanted to give a little commentary on each individually for maximum metal effect. Read on if you dare – you know you want to".
Ken Pierce- Krisiun: The return of Brazil's masters of Metal would find the band early on the night's lineup roster, or second band out of four. We totally passed on the first group whose name I do not even recall. For me the start for the night would be this brutally heavy and powerful band. I remembered seeing them as direct opener for Hate Eternal and that night felt that Krisiun should have been headlining. They handled themselves well and it would show again tonight despite their limited set time. As soon as they hit the stage you saw the pit forming and a nice sized crowd was already present which was quite a bonus. The level of these bands appeal caused the line to form early and as a result, every band was able to play for a full house except the lead in group. Krisiun is hot on the support of both a new album "AssassiNation" and a live concert DVD (both available on Century Media Records). It is perhaps the safest way to enjoy these guys, or maybe you are feeling lucky and wish to venture deep into the pit and take your chances. One has to admire when a band is good at what they do and I think it is safe to say that the music and impact of Krisiun will be felt in Death Metal's halls for years to come.
Behemoth: Thunderous darkness straight from the crypts of Poland is the one and only Behemoth. I have seen this band on a number of occasions and each time they impress about the way that they do things. Front man guitarist/vocalist Nergal has nothing subtle about him and joined by his fellow demons in Corpse paint the aim is to destroy everything in their way. Fans of brutal drumming will love what Inferno does to the kit, and I compare him to Dave Lombardo in some fashion as as double bas speed goes. Bassist Orion is someone who comes across as almost as imposing as Nergal while he slams the neck of his instrument. Behemoth is clearly a band capable of holding the audience completely in thrall until they have no more use for you and discard you like fodder only to trample forward over the next victim. The group has been supporting their brutal release of "Demigod", which is an Olympic Recording under the Century Media family. The main difference about Behemoth against other bands of their genre is the level of technical ability the members possess. Yes, they destroy musically, but there are also levels of precision and style that add to the appeal. It was a smart choice to have them open up for Morbid Angel, as there are some technical comparisons with none of the bands being run of the mill stuff. I enjoyed being able to see a nice long Behemoth set as well, as the band performed close to an hour for a change. Towards the end, Nergal comes onstage dressed as the cover image to the record and this always sets the already ravenous audience into frenzy. As a band, Behemoth has headlining power written all over them, and I order you to attend a performance the next time that you hear the name. Once you do, you shall see why they "Conquer All". If you are someone who pays attention between the band sets you might just be lucky enough to see Nergal and Orion unmasked and mixing in with the crowd enjoying the other bands and some beverages. It's up to you to figure out who they are as I'll never tell.
Morbid Angel: There is no question about this band being one of the Death Metal founders when it boils down to it and the sold-out venue of B.B. King Blues Club would be a testament to the level of support and appreciation from their fans. Tonight the band would be supporting the reissue of "Altars of Madness", a long considered their classic from 1989. This CD has just been reissued on Earache Records with a bonus live DVD. The band would perform their special brand of technical Death Metal and with the classic lineup of Trey Azagthoth (guitar), David Vincent (bass, vocals), Pete Sandoval (drums) and Tony Norman (guitar) there would not be any level of disappointment in the house. From the moment the lights blazed and smoke erupted, the club would shake to its foundations. I found their performance level to be superb and the sound clean and powerful. Sometimes a Death Metal band loses some of their sound quality because of a bad mix or their not having a good gauge on the venue. This would not be the issue for Morbid tonight and proving their seasoned veteran status would be the result on each and every song. Performing a little over an hour it seemed there was not much banter from Vincent, and that is good because the audience was there to get the frustrations of the day out and not hear a speech. Start to finish this night was all about delivery and showmanship, Vincent is impressive as a front man and one would expect that of a man who has been doing this form of Metal for so many years. He proved true all the reasons why so many bands look up to Morbid Angel as their inspiration in the Death Metal genre.
I have to say that the crowd of the whole place was going wild for most of the show, and while their was crowd-surfing and moshing going on at every turn no one was being disrespectful to anyone or hurting anyone intentionally. That was interesting to observe since a Death Metal pit is not an area I like to find myself near because you cannot jot down notes in that setting. In fact, I only ran into one clown the whole night, which was an idiot that mid Morbid Angel told me to stop talking since he could not hear the band. Now, the show was so loud my fillings were rumbling so I simply turned to him and showed him I thought he was number one. I think I used the wrong finger though.
Pete Pardo-Well, you don't get to see shows like this too often, as one highly influential act takes along two extremely popular bands on the current scene for a truly mammoth triple bill. Morbid Angel, with lead singer/bassist David Vincent back in the fold, are out to prove that they still have what it takes to be leaders of the death metal genre, now almost 20 years after their inception, and who better to go out on the road with than Brazil's Krisiun and Poland's Behemoth.
Krisiun put on a masterful and tight set of thunderous death metal, plain and simple. For a three-piece, these guys have a real full sound, and the crowd was loving every minute of it. The band played tunes from their latest album AssassiNation as well as classics from their back catalog. Quite frankly, I think Krisiun are pretty close to being able to headline on their own, judging from the crowd response on this evening.
If Krisiun are close to being headliners on their own, then Behemoth are already there. Once these Polish extreme metal masters hit the stage, the crowd erupted in a frenzy. Behemoth have played the NY area on a few occasions over the last year or two, so they are no strangers to the fans here, and you could tell. Pulling songs from albums such as Demigod, Zos Kia Cultus, Thelena 6, and Satanica, Behemoth offered technical precision within a framework that bridges on death and black metal. Wild guitar solos, rampaging riffs, evil screams, and thunderous blast beats, all make up the sound of the might Behemoth. There's a reason why Demigod was picked by many critics and fans as one of the best extreme metal albums of 2005-these guys are that good. The fans were so into their set, it got a little hairy in the photo pit as bodies were flying all around and surfers were being hurled over the barricade in front of the stage, all in good fun of course, but we needed to watch out backs a little and be aware of all the mania. After the band finished with "Pure Evil and Hate", they could have easily gone on for more, but the arrival of Morbid Angel was pending.
Saying that Morbid Angel are legends is an understatement. This tour is to celebrate the reissue of their classic album Alters of Madness, one of the late 80's most celebrated death metal records, and one that put the band on the map. As you can imagine, the set this evening featured a healthy dose of tunes from that album, plus other Morbid Angel classics. Seeing Vincent on stage with the band again was a treat, as he worked the crowd alongside longtime guitar hero Trey Azagthoth, drummer Pete Sandoval, and second guitarist Tony Norman. Azagthoth is truly an amazing player, and one of the most talented in the death metal genre, adding his fiery riffs and nimble solos to songs like "Where the Slime Live" and "Chapel of Ghouls". Overall, Morbid Angel totally slayed the audience with over an hours worth of technical and blistering death metal, showing that they still are one of the best in the business. Hopefully a new studio album is in the making so we can do this all over again in a year or so.
Morbid Angel Set List
2. Pain Divine
3. Maze of Torment
4. Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost
5. Lord of all Fevers and Plague
6. Dawn of the Angry
7. Where the Slime Live
8. Blood on my Hands
10. Immortal Rites
11. Fall from Grace
12. Day of Suffering
13. Evil Spells
14. Chapel of Ghouls
15. God of Emptiness
16. World of Shit
Behemoth Set List
2. Anti Christian Phenomenon
3. Conquer All
4. Christians To The Lions
5. Summoning Of The Ancient Ones
6. Decade Ov Therion
7. As Above So Below
8. Slaves Shall Serve
9. Chant For Eskaton 2000
10. Pure Evil And Hate
Official Web site: www.morbidangel.com
Official Web site: www.behemoth.pl
Official Web site: www.krisium.com.br