The Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York was one of the stops of this hot extreme metal tour that featured three of the most beloved bands on the death metal circuit. From Sweden you have Unleashed, from Brazil comes Krisiun, and all the way from Austria the black/death metal kings Belphegor. Sea of Tranquility's Ken Pierce and Pete Pardo where on hand for this metal event and bring their full reviews of the show.
Ken Pierce: When it came down to Sweden's Death Metal masters Unleashed coming over for a tour and bringing with them the mighty Krisiun and Belphegor, I knew that I wanted to do the review at one of the other stops on the tour this time around. The opportunity would arise for me to do just that with the bands appearance at Poughkeepsie, NY's The Chance Theatre. This former Opera house is a great place to see a Metal show based on its actual layout. There is a spacious upper level and the space where the orchestra pit used to be is now where the Metal maniacs mosh to their hearts delight. On arrival, we found the show to be starting a little later than we had expected as not only would the three major bands be playing, but also two unsigned groups as well. To be honest, both of them were forgettable since there was nothing different to be enjoyed by them. The first band was ok but the second was worse based on their lead singer being drunk as hell on stage. He berated the audience and then jumped into the pit to mosh with them. It was a very poor display of professionalism and bands like this do not belong on quality bills in this writer's opinion. Belphegor was up shortly after the time wasting, and proved to the attending crowd why they are one of the most important of the Black Metal bands today. Now signed to Nuclear Blast Records, the Austrian band delivered a competent set of music from their latest release Pestapokalyse VI. They are truly heavy and stand for their musical cause with horns raised high. Helmuth is a commanding presence as their front man and during the set, he would frequently speak to the audience showing there is personality behind the power. My only problem during their set was the overall limited audience at hand. Tickets would be available tonight very easily, but perhaps the lack of a full house was based on their performing in New York City's B.B. King Blues Club the previous night.
Krisiun came up next and I am always blown away by the overall presentation of this band. They are very simply "Metal", and there is nothing that needs to be said past that. While they were not headlining tonight, this show did find them closer up to that role on the performance roster and it is about time. They are a headlining capable band and they always seem to make every effort to impress during a set. It is thunderous Metal and there is little pause left for the audience or deviation from this very brutal brand of Death Metal that the Brazilians are bringing to the table. Their set would also be a short one and I found that annoying and if I had not seen them a number of times in the past I would have felt ripped off. In speaking to some of the audience around me, they had attended once again after seeing one of the earlier performances. The group is signed to Century Media Records and would deliver a hot set of material from their back catalog as well as their latest release Assassination. I loaned a healthy amount of props to their drummer Max for the evenings set, as he was incredible and literally a force of nature tonight. They are a tight machine as well, and not many people realize that two if them are brothers. It is my hope that this run of tour dates finds the potential for some headlining shows for they are really deserving of them at this stage.
For Unleashed, the crowd was at its fullest, and it seemed to be a good 300 supporters strong. I was interested in this set, as I had never honestly followed Unleashed prior to this and their latest release Midvinterblot. The group had recently just issued this epic piece of Metal with their signing to SPV Records. As soon as they began, I knew I was going to enjoy this, for while I am a fan of Death Metal anyway – these guys truly have a different handle on it. Led by Johnny Hedlund, this Swedish band leans more to the classic Thrash Metal side and offers a healthy amount of Viking lore to their lyrical content than most of their peers in this genre are doing. To be honest, they came off to me as a Heavy Thrash-laden Viking Metal group despite this Death labeling. Similar to the openers tonight, Unleashed would be about the music and not the nonsense. Arriving in Poughkeepsie like their Viking ancestors would do to many cities, they hit the stage like Metal warriors and were not going to settle on anything less than the destruction of the people in front of them. Their set was a limiting thirteen numbers, but as result, they would only touch upon the new album and then deliver other epics from their back catalog. I had to admit liking this aspect as it gave me the chance to absorb more of the material that I was not too familiar with. During their set, the members of Belphegor were hanging out and mingling with the crowd and drinking beers with them, and I always like when they take the time to do that sort of stuff. Overall, this was a fun night with many memorable performances and in the audience, you would spot Reed St. Mark (former Celtic Frost) as well as the guys in Immolation. Everyone was a fan tonight and all would raise the horns high as Metal legions. Hails!
Pete Pardo-After a brief period where we had to sit through two mediocre opening local acts (and honestly one was pretty dreadful, no thanks to their piss-drunk lead singer), Austria's Belphegor hit the stage and really showed what they are all about. This popular band mixes death and black metal quite well, and managed to convert any listener in the club who wasn't a fan into a Belphegor convert. With rippling guitar riffs and evil vocal styles, coupled with thunderous drum work, Belphegor played some tunes from their latest CD and a few older pieces, and left the audience, who had not all filtered in by that time, wanting more. Shortly after their set the band was seen walking around the club mingling with fans and media folk, which was great to see.
Krisiun are quickly becoming one of the most powerful death metal acts to grace the stage. These three lads from Brazil play metal that is so heavy, so intense, and at times so technical, you can't help but be simply blown away by their presentation. Featuring killer guitar riffs and mindblowing drum blasts, the music of Krisiun is brutal but so tight and professional sounding that the band are starting to become the class of the death metal world. While Unleashed were the headliners this evening, and rightly so, Krisiun could have easily taken their spot and played another 30-45 minutes and nobody in the audience would have complained. Their latest release Assassination was a real step up in terms of quality for the trio, and these tunes go over really well live. Future stars? Could be. There's no doubt the frequent tours they have done over the last two years has really helped this rampaging metal machine. A great set from start to finish.
As good as Unleashed's set was, it must have been tough to follow the mighty Krisiun, and it seemed that a lot of the steam was taken out of the audience after a few songs in the Unleashed set. Nevertheless, the band took their brand of Viking death/thrash metal and ran with it, playing a good portion of their new release Midvinterblot and a few older classics, complete with crunchy guitar riffs and solos, and the trademark Swedish melodic death metal vocal attack of Johnny Hedlund. Not as pummeling as the previous two band's sets, but easily more melodic and musical, Unleashed stormed through their set like the veterans they are, obviously enjoying their trek across America, the first one they have done in quite some time.
Overall this was a fun evening of extreme metal, sponsored by Steve Keeler and Rock Fantasy, at a venue that is usually a good spot to catch shows of this nature.
Unleashed Set List
Blood Of Lies
In The Name Of God
Never Ending ..
Don't Want To Be Born
To Asgaard We Fly
Execute Them All
Triumph Of Genocide
In Victory Or defeat
The Longships Are Coming
Death Metal Victory
Into Glory Ride
Official Web site: www.unleashed.se
Official Web site: www.belphegor.at
Official Web site: www.krisiun.com