Behemoth, In Solitude and more at The House Of Blues (2012)

The House Of Blues (Los Angeles, USA)

Behemoth, In Solitude, The Devil's Blood, Watain, Ides Of Gemini
It's no secret that if you are an avid Metalhead, you have probably felt at […]
By Karila Shannis
April 25, 2012

It's no secret that if you are an avid Metalhead, you have probably felt at some point like an outcast of society. More than likely, you have found yourself incapable of explaining to your peers why it is you fell in love with such "evil" music while simultaneously trying to convince them that you don't worship demons in your spare time. But on Wednesday April 25, the black sheep of Los Angeles flocked together in an eager herd, awaiting the invasion of one of the most phenomenally evil lineups the Golden State has ever witnessed.  On a quest to "conquer all" of America, the blackened Death Metal overlords collectively known as BEHEMOTH delivered one hell of a night; the energy was profound, and the music was indescribably brutal. Joining BEHEMOTH in the conquest of the United States were the Swedish occult youths of IN SOLITUDE, the Dutch Metal mystics of THE DEVIL'S BLOOD, and the notoriously wicked Black Metal radicals of WATAIN.

Kicking off the night was local band IDES OF GEMINI, an attractive threesome who created spine-chilling doom-like ballads that set a haunting mood for the rest of the night. But we all knew it was only going to get more intense from there. I had no expectations when it came to the two openers IN SOLITUDE and THE DEVIL'S BLOOD, so my impression of them was as clean as it could possibly get. The young band of Metal vagabonds known as IN SOLITUDE warmed up the audience with their dark groove-based melodies.  Their raw onstage energy was memorable, especially that of the singer who, cloaked with what looked like a squirrel skin, proceeded to bash the microphone against his head a few times.  That certainly got my attention!  Next up was THE DEVIL'S BLOOD, a Dutch "horror soul" band who bloodied themselves and their instruments before proceeding to cast a wickedly soulful spell over the audience. Farida casted an especially haunting presence, as she mesmerized every soul in the room with her operatic "Mouth Of Satan".

I had never seen WATAIN live, but from what I had heard they were certainly a spectacle infamous for heightening your sense of sight and smell. Though the House of Blues stage is rather small especially with the amount of equipment on it, WATAIN managed to mark their territory with rows of Metal chains and inverted crosses, animal bones and skins, and stenches of unknown origin. This creation of atmosphere set a completely appropriate tone for the menacing nature of their music: merciless, wicked, talented, blacker-than-Black Metal!

Outside the day may have already ended, but as the lights dimmed for the final act, I knew that for hundreds of enthusiastic Metalheads, the night was only just beginning. Inferno took his seat at the gargantuan drummer throne, Seth riled the crowd with a simple gesture of his hand, Orion intimidated hundreds with his stoic muscular stance, and Nergal made his triumphant entrance, scanning the crowd who was now going certifiably insane. There they ­stood, Poland's most ferocious Metal monsters, already beginning to feed off of the rabid anticipation of the crowd before striking a single note. Suddenly, the first chord: "Ov Fire And The Void" exploded in our eardrums; thus began the journey into BEHEMOTH's melodic circle of hell, as L.A.'s fallen angels sang along with Poland's greatest triumph in Metal.

BEHEMOTH not only showcased renowned sensations such as "Conquer All", "Demigod", and "The Seed Ov I", but they excited the hell out of the crowd with epic restorations of classics such as the "Moonspell Rites" (20 years old!), "The Thovsand Plagves I Witness", and my favorite song off of the "Satanica" album, "Chant for Eschaton 2000". Organized chaos erupted with the start of every song. Energy was constantly rising, heads were mercilessly banging, and voices were chanting lyrics in perfect harmonic coordination. And speaking of coordination, you've seen nothing until you've witnessed Orion and Seth windmilling their heads of hair like absolute madmen! And of course, Nergal's intense presence is just so damn infectious. Raising his arms in the air, chanting that injected the crowd with adrenaline, shaping his facial expressions into terrifying war visages—all of these small characteristics make up a part of the enormously vivacious persona that lives in Nergal.

One of the most profound moments occurred in between songs, as the Metal was suspended briefly while instruments changed and Nergal surveyed the screaming crowd. With a voice as powerful as ever, he shouted, "It feels so fucking good….TO BE ALIVE!!"  There was not a dry eye or unclenched fist in the house. That's when I realized not only was this concert a reward for all the dedicated legions of BEHEMOTH fans around the US.  It was a personal blessing for the entire band to be performing in front of thousands of people for nights on end, no matter how exhausting the journey. When you see BEHEMOTH perform live, you see passion and determination that has truly overcome the most trying of obstacles and that only strives to defeat those obstacles and to recover a thousand times stronger.

In my attempt to summarize, the performance quality of every musician was superb, the music grooved to a pleasantly sinister tune all night, and quite frankly I've never banged my head harder in my life. For a few hours, I was allowed to abandon my reality as a fumbling college student trying to identify my purpose in the world. This night, I became part of something greater.  Everyone in the House of Blues that night, from the musicians to the crews, the press to the fans, we all became one huge, impassioned, metal-loving BEHEMOTH.

Behemoth Live #1

Behemoth Live #2

Behemoth Live #3

Behemoth Live #4


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