One of the most iconic names in black metal is Immortal, even more iconic is their former frontman Abbath. The man has left his mark on the world with his legendary vocals, guitar and bass work, and most notably, his signature crab walk. Having never been so lucky as to see Immortal in their prime, with all their original members, I jumped at the opportunity to see at least part of the legend, Abbath, with his new side project, so aptly named, Abbath. This would be the biggest show I’ve seen, since arriving in Brisbane a few months back.
The night’s festivities opened up with a local band called Vyrion. I hadn’t heard of them so I didn’t know what to expect, but all concerns were immediately calmed once the band started playing. Their style revealed that they were heavily influenced by the Norwegian sound, with dark, bouncing riffs and a surprising range of vocals done by both guitarists and the bassist. It was pretty cool to see a support band set the bar as high as they did. Looking back, I don’t think the promoter could have picked a better band for the job.
Direct support was a task taken by the band called Ruins. I’m still fairly new to these scene so I was caught by surprise when the two Haley brothers appeared and started to tune their respective instruments. I knew of the duo, but hadn’t the chance to see them live yet. Their performance was exactly what you’d expect from musicians of that caliber. The music was well structured and heavy, but their actual performance left me wanting. I’ll write it off to restricted space on stage that forced them into an awkward linear arrangement with little room to move, but with even a little room to move, no one did. The instrumental side of the band was very solid, but the vocalist killed the entire set for me. He looked confused and out of place, like it was his first big show and he didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands. He kept playing the air guitar or drums in a really awkward way and it just did not fit the look the rest of the band was going with.
Abbath didn’t use any sound clips or long intros to announce his arrival to the stage, the audience knew he was about to start when a wall of fog erupted from under the drum risers and engulfed the entire stage. The lights cut through and suddenly a wild Abbath appeared and began. It was like something out of a childhood dream of mine, seeing one of the gods of black metal standing not even a foot away from me, clad in black leather with spikes and his signature corpsepaint. The band wasted no time, blasting through the first two tracks. During the short break between songs, an overzealous fan hit the mic stand into Abbath’s face, to which he picked up the stand and bashed the kid back without hesitating. After the next track the kid apologized and the two bumped fists and all was right again. It was hard to determine which tracks were which due to the sound in the very front being so intense and chaotic, but that didn’t stop the crowd from going ballistic at every song. After an hour or so the songs were starting to wear me out as they got longer and more repetitive, but I held out and the set finished not long after. As far as first impressions go, I could not be more impressed with Abbath and his absolute dominance over the stage. From the moment the band started to the last note, all eyes were locked on Abbath as he crab walked and shredded his way around the stage. This would have to be one of the most intense shows I’ve ever seen.
Big Thank to Maric Media for the support \m/