Rotting Christ, Immolation and more at Logan Square Auditorium (2008)

Logan Square Auditorium (Chicago, IL, USA)

Rotting Christ, Immolation, Belphegor, Averse Sefira, Cardiac Arrest
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
February 15, 2008

The news that my countrymen of ROTTING CHRIST would stop at Chicago during their 'Lucifer Over America' tour were something more than pleasant. I did not attend their last Athenian show that was filmed for the future DVD release since I had to cover AGUA DE ANNIQUE's acoustic show the same night. So, the dark forces showed mercy on me and brought one of the best Black Metal bands in town.

I arrived at the Logan Square Auditorium 30 minutes before the doors' opening time since I had to meet Sakis for a small interview that will be online in the following days. The venue is located on the 3rd floor of an old building that is excellently maintained since it can host several social events like dances, wedding and other non-metal stuff.
After the interview I entered the concert area to find out that I was one of the almost 40 metalheads that have come to watch the show. So, after half an hour (the audience was a little bigger) CARDIAC ARREST got on stage and call for everyone to approach them. The band from Wheaton of Illinois belongs to the Grind Core sound with distinct influences from trademark acts like SIX FEET UNDER and of course CANNIBAL CORPSE. The four guys were unaffected from the weak attendance and performed in a high mood that eventually made the crowd moving. The band was enjoying every second upon the stage and this went through the audience that lent them something more than a warm applause. Songs like Gutted With A Shovel, Beyond Trauma, Carnage Your Fate and their new track You Beg For Mercy were quite brutally performed and after almost half an hour CARDIAC ARREST stepped down leaving everyone satisfied.

The next band on the billing, were the Blacksters AVERSE SEFIRA from Austin, Texas. So, three guys with spikes, inverted crosses and a significant amount of corpse paint got on stage and started pounding their instruments following the old school Black Metal path that was originally carved from Northen parts of Europe. Although, I am not an expert and actually a fan of this sound I pretty much enjoyed most of their show that was based on furious blast beats fast tormenting guitar riffs and difficult to remember song titles. This band is well respected at the underground scene and has already four full length albums. You can watch the video clip for Plagabraha below:

BELPHEGOR hail from Austria and to my surprise they own a pretty solid fan base here at the U.S. and by the time they hit the stage more than 300 metalheads were in the venue. The band managed to impress me from the very first moments with their fine blend of Death and Black Metal. Their powerful on-stage performance combined to the loud and clear sound convinced me that I had to find more than just their name. Belphegor Hell's Ambassador was the highlight of their performance with fast guitar riffs, tone-heavy rhythm section (I love that bass guitar sound) and unholy lyrics. The mosh-pit formed in the center of the venue was a small token of their excellent performance. Below you can watch the video clip for Belphegor Hell's Ambassador:

I was definitely not prepared for the next band, IMMOLATION that hail from New York. Although, Shadows In The Light, their latest full length effort, was an excellent sample of old school Death Metal with great guitar work it did not give me a single hint about their on-stage performance. After the first musical notes from IMMOLATION the venue was literally on fire. Their vigorous presence combined with the neck snapping songs raised some additional degrees the venue's temperature. Things got even more old-school with the intense stage-diving (yeah) and the relentless crowd surfing that was greatly motivated by Ross Dolan's dynamic presence. World Agony, The Devil I know, Burn With Jesus or Those Left Behind from their debut album Dawn Of Possession are some of the titles that managed to stay in my mind after the non-stop headbanging. It's good to know that some bands pay the proper respect to their roots and actually can continue like they did when they started. Watch the World Agony video clip below:

The time has come for the headliners that would come on-stage in front of almost 600 metalheads. ROTTING CHRIST were warmly welcomed despite the fact that during the first 10 minutes the signs of tiredness from the constant travelling made them look a little bit weak. It was good to see that the audience responded with great enthusiasm to the songs from the band's prime works like The Sign Of Evil Existence, King Of A Stellar War or Archon proving that ROTTING CHRIST have quite a reputation here at the States. Keravnos Kyvernitos, Athanati Este, Enuma Elish, Nemecic, In Domine Sathana (were everybody was singing) and Under The Name Of The Legion are some songs that were featured in their hearty setlist that helped them overcome their initial fatigue. Of course, the night ended with their trademark track Non Serviam that comes from the historical and homonymous 1994 album. Sakis was as always a very good frontman and managed to establish an excellent communication with the American audience that showed its appreciation by forming a large mosh pit and commence to ever more stage diving. Below there is the video clip for the track Keravnos Kyvernitos:

So, after the Greeks stepped over the stage the satisfied metalheads made their way out of the venue while the speaker were playing the 300 OST!
In the bottom line I can surely say that I considered myself lucky enough to having witnessed one day from ROTTING CHRIST's 'Lucifer Over America' tour. Keep The Black Metal Cult Alive.

(photos by me)






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