Belphegor, Nordor and more at An Club (2008)

An Club (Athens, Greece)

Belphegor, Nordor, Enshadowed, Mortal Torment
I believe that we all agree that BELPHEGOR's maiden visit to Greece was the best […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
December 21, 2008

I believe that we all agree that BELPHEGOR's maiden visit to Greece was the best way to celebrate the Christmas holidays. The Greek zine Metal Defiance had the excellent idea to invite the band from Austria to support Bondage Goat Zombie, an album that is already in my best-of 2008 release list. So, under a pregnant silence in the downtown of Athens due to the recent murder of a young child by a policeman BELPHEGOR were invited to share my energetic Black/Death Metal.

The promoters had also the nice idea to add three local bands in order to make the ticket best value for money and I believe they succeeded. Well, I did not get the chance to see the first two bands on-stage since my love for soccer was stronger and that particular day my favorite team had some rough time. Fortunately, my team won and I made my way to An Club where I caught ENSHADOWED already on-stage.

The Athenian quartet with the old school corpse paint was already playing some fitting Black Metal to their on-stage looks. I thought that their music was pretty good but as time went by I got kind of bored. It is clearly a matter of taste since the monotonous and rather lengthy songs did not lift up my spirit much. On the other hand they sounded pretty solid and I bet the fans of this genre will find them quite interesting. So, if this type of Black Metal touches your 'sensitive' chords hit this link.

Next, on the billing were the Death Metal act NORDOR. So, after the inevitable soundcheck (too much time to setup the drum kit though) the lights went out and the intro brought us The Invocation Of The 4 Gates from the band's latest album. You could tell that this is a well rehearsed band with confident (but rather stationary) on-stage presence and overall good sound. As it usually happens in Greek concerts we were running late on the timetable so the band chose (wisely) to play the setlist without useless pauses or even more useless speeches. Even though I was not familiar with their music I remember They Were Seven and The Exorcism Of Ia Andu Eni that set the end to their pretty good live performance. Most of the metalheads in the front rows seemed to enjoy this Death meets Gore sound and formed a couple of moshpits.

[Harry adds] NORDOR were the last supporting act before the headliners, and the ones that all of us were waiting to see, BELPHEGOR! Playing songs from their album and older ones from their demos era, they tried to keep the crowd warm. Their Death Metal didn't attract me, but some of the fans enjoyed their performance. Having the, usual, bad sound, without being their fault, they played for about forty minutes. The only thing that stood out was -once more- the vocals from Lordwinter. Even though I have my objections for their compositions, I believe that his voice is the one that gives NORDOR a credit. But clock is ticking, time passed by and it was time for the headliners to hit the stage!

I had already very good impressions about BELPHEGOR from their performance in Chicago, where they opened for ROTTING CHRIST.

So, I was pretty much prepared about what was about to follow. The band entered the stage after 30 minutes, under the warm cheering of the Greek audience. Personally, I thought that the attendance would be stronger since -as I said- Bondage Goat Zombie made a very good impact in the Metal scene. Nevertheless, BELPHEGOR kicked their setlist with The Goatchrist.

The first thing you notice when BELPHEGOR get on stage is the immediate connection that Helmuth establishes with the crowd. His sincere attitude really connects him with the fans that get synchronized with his on-stage posing. Actually, his posing is excellent for a photographer who can get an interesting pic by following Helmuth's moves. The band did not waste any time by talking and just performed the 11 tracks setlist with power and precision. Belphegor - Hell's Ambassador was a blast even though by that time the sound was not that clear and some things got lost; like the hearty guitar shredding riffs that are considered as the band's music signature.

I cannot say that the Greek audience was in top mood that evening; ok some moshpits were formed but I don't think we were the 'classic' Greek crowd that we like to brag about. Some of the highlights are Bondage Goat Zombie where Helmuth wore a spiked cap (DEICIDE came to my mind) and the closing shredder Bleeding Salvation.
Regardless of the response, BELPHEGOR gave a professional performance that did not lack of energy, accuracy and of course attitude. BELPHEGOR's music is solid and heavy but it gains more points when it comes from the stage because the visual aspect totally reflects their sound. So, after 10 tracks and one encore the band left the stage and us with an overall satisfaction.

Personally, I will remember the band's performance in Chicago and the very good sound. I cannot avoid making comparisons but it is true that the Greek concerts lack (apart from others like safety) of descent equipment and hence the most of the time band sound.

After this live gig I should give Metal Defiance kudos for arranging this event under these 'special' circumstances and for not raising that many complaints as other more 'experience' promoters do. Nice work guys!

BELPHEGOR setlist:

01. The Goatchrist
02. Seyn Todt in Schwartz
03. Belphegor - Hell's Ambassador
04. Stigma Diamolicum
05. Swarm Of Rats
06. Sepulture Of Hypocrisy
07. Justine: Soaked In Blood
08. Pest $ Terror
09. Lucifer Incestus
10. Bondage Goat Zombie


11. Bleeding Salvation

(photos by the demons)




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