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Mayhem + Dragged Into Sunlight + Mathusian | Live Review


It’s nigh on a decade since Norway’s most notorious black metal act played that now infamous trainwreck of a gig in Dublin’s Button Factory.

A show where that shambling clusterfuck of a band stumbled their way through something that was hard to describe other than a pantomime of self parody.

So it wasn’t unwarranted that I had some degree of trepidation upon hearing they were returning before finally deciding to give them another chance.

What eventually sold it for me was the fact that this was them playing their magum opus ‘De Mysteriis…’ in full – because honestly if not for that I frankly wouldn’t have bothered my arse.

Malthusian

The initial support was our very own Malthusian, a band who quite rightly are getting a significant amount of praise from a wider audience in the black/death scene outside of Ireland due in part to their two absolutely devastating releases from the last few years.

This was the my first time seeing these guys and by fuck did they exceed all my expectations, cleaving their way through just over half an hour of bleak malevolence, delivering their hybrid of devastating, noxious triple vocalled black/death metal like an unrelenting force of hell.

Mayhem are the type of band with plenty of armchair fans, once a year gig-goers who bemoan the lack of decent locals bands, without actually making any effort to find what’s right beneath their noses – bands like Malthusian for example. So I’d say they definitely had a few converts that night. The standout band of the night for me.

Dragged Into Sunlight

Main tour support act Dragged Into Sunlight were up next and admittedly a band I wasn’t particularly familiar with at all, a mysterious English quintet that peddle a technical hybrid of black/death/doom.

Not particularly my cup of tea, I prefer my extreme metal a bit more ‘dirty’ for want of a better description, but there is no denying the band were extremely powerful and tight as fuck, with a beast of a drummer.

One thing though, this whole ‘backs to the crowd’ shit, what is the point?

I get that they want to create an atmosphere of sorts and stage set-ups certainly can help add that the music, but it just came off as nothing other than pretentious, you’re not the fucking Jesus and Mary Chain, wind yer necks in.

Mayhem

So, then came Mayhem. A few thoughts running through my mind – would they further tarnish their legacy by destroying their masterwork? Or actually give a decent stab it?

Surprisingly they went one step further, they were actually really fucking good.

‘De Mysteriis…’ needs no introduction to any self respecting black metal fan, it’s an iconoclastic monolith that quite rightly sits at the very top of the tree for black metal as a whole.

Appearing on stage in hooded robes, they tear through each track chronologically, beginning with the admittedly rough ‘Funeral Fog’. They iron it out for the anthemic and chilling ‘Freezing Moon’ removing any lingering doubts and showing as a band they may actually be beginning to take themselves seriously again in the live environment.

‘Pagan Fears’ is similarly well received, driving the crowd into a frenzy with that riff and ‘Buried By Time and Dust’ another highlight.

At least this time around, even if the whole ‘mysterious robes’ shtick is slightly overdone these days, they actually managed to create an effective atmosphere with candles, altar, dry ice and the strobe lighting.

And it at least helps erase the horror of paper crosses and Attila dressed up like a gimped out paramilitary.

It was certainly not flawless though. Attila’s vocals were a bit too buried in the mix and the drumming was overbearing, although I guess that is to be expected with the particular man behind the kit.

It just distracted a lot from the rest of the music which was otherwise impressively tight and intense, especially Teloch and Ghul in place for the now departed Blasphemer.

All in all a welcome surprise. Yes some may argue the set was very short, I could easily have watched them for as much again, but when you’re getting one of the greatest black metal albums ever written delivered in full, with some songs that have been gathering dust for god knows how long now, it was definitely worth it.

They’ve been getting good reports all tour so far, so lets see if it continues. I would certainly pay to see them again after that showing.

Chris Cowgill ::: 4/4/17


16 Comments
  1. I don’t why people listen to this racist band or worse go to their shows.

  2. ^ Because their music is deadly, regardless of the political opinions of some of their members.

  3. racist? wise the fuck up

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The two support bands are racist too, by extension.

  5. drums drums drums, that’s all i heard all night. i’ve a general feeling of disappointment about the gig but no regrets about going. DMDS is too much of a good album to have let this one go

  6. I think as said in the thread the sound was depending on where you were standing, I was at the back left of center and it was pretty clear, but yeah the drums were way too loud no matter where you were I think.

  7. open face surgery Says:

    Fuck it, I’m not only racist, I’m homophobic, sexist, ageist, ableist, upist, downist and elitist as well.

    No surprise that the comments are anonymous. Fuckin bottom feeding, cowardly, rent-a-cause retards.

  8. Eoin McLove Says:

    Straight from the horse’s mouth, ladies and gentlemen. This is why black metal must be stopped. Bash the fash!

  9. Eoin McLove Says:

    Can someone quickly change my name back to anonymous, thanks…

  10. Anonymous Says:

    There you go.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks. Now where was I?

    Oh yeah, bloody racists!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Who’s that?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Nixer !!! Fuck Off you attention seeking wanker

  14. Jim McDonald Says:

    black metal shite so it is

  15. Anonymous Says:

    What a total mong!
    criticizing Islam or immigration is not racist!

  16. although Hellhammer is into NS, that doesn´t make the whole band Nazi. 🙂
    the concert was disappointing and weak. except Attila, who always is delivering honest performances, but Necro is a joke.

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