GIG REVIEW: KATAKLYSM and BELPHEGOR Live at Baltimore Soundstage
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
For about the past century, there has been one constant in regards to live shows that is a necessary evil, for lack of a better term: openers. National acts always have a handful of bands from the local area opening up which exposes new bands to more people, which is always a good thing.
The collection of bands opening this show was fairly impressive. The first band we’d seen before, Suffer No Guilt, have a lot of promise and it’s good to see them getting more exposure. Silence the Requiem were up next, followed by Bound by the Grave, both delivering energetic and brutal sets. Monger then took over, with the singer probably giving the performance of his life considering how pissed off he was. By the third song, we knew that he had two hours of sleep, there was $30 worth of beer on the floor of the stage, and his girlfriend cheated on him; It did make for an angry and crushing performance. The last of the front line was a band out of Manassas, Virginia called Krass Judgment. These guys killed it with an electricity unmatched by any of their predecessors. With their singer looking like a cross between Max Cavalera and Danny Trejo, and a wild running base line, these guys are talented and I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
After a moderate wait, Belphegor descended onto the stage in a strange stinky fog of incense and dim lights. They rumbled through their set with unwavering intensity, staying in character throughout and between songs. Consequently, about the only words that Helmuth uttered throughout the set that I understood was when he was addressing “Baltimore”. Regardless, Belphegor lambasted the crowd with their relentless black metal onslaught of which everyone really seemed to enjoy.
Finally, Kataklysm hit the crowd with a barrage of guitar and drums, dominating the stage and commanding all attention. Opening with “As I Slither”, their high-energy performance enjoyed a moderate pit and a fair amount of audience sing-along. As with most shows we’ve seen lately, the crowd thinned a bit for Kakaklysm’s set; this did not affect their mojo at all. They played an equally brutal show, pounding out the fan favorites and getting a great crowd response.
Bottom line: This was a great show all around. Maryland/Virginia is really producing some quality bands. Both Belphegor and Kataklysm delivered brutal, brain-damaging sets that would have delighted Satan himself.