GIG REVIEW: MAYHEM, WATAIN & Rotting Christ At San Diego, CA
The second edition of Black Metal Warfare saw Rotting Christ joining the usual suspects Mayhem and Watain as they toured across the US. I happened to catch the gig at San Diego, which was supposed to happen at Observatory North Park and was moved to Brick by Brick due to unknown reasons, with a rumor floating around that they didn’t want to deal with the blood used by one of the bands during the show. Nevertheless, Brick by Brick is a solid venue and I have been frequently visiting it for some great shows.
Rotting Christ opened the unholy night with a setlist featuring a mixture of the classics and tracks from their recent albums, though mostly leaning towards their new stuff. “Transform all Suffering into Plagues” and “The Sign of Evil Existence” from the classic album ‘Thy Mighty Contract‘ was a treat to watch. The Greeks played their popular tracks “666” and “Athanati Este“, and mixed it up with a couple more tracks from their latest album ‘Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού‘. I would have loved to hear more from their classic era, especially from their first four albums, but oh well.
The pig heads occupied the stage now, their dead eyes gazing the far end of the ceiling, as the wait catalyzed the anticipation. Watain came on and held the attention of the venue with them on the stage by displaying immense amount of energy. Their setlist consisted the highlights of their career spanning 5 albums, some way better than the others. The ritualistic atmosphere created by the Swedes was punctuated by the famous filling of goat skull with blood. Some of my favorite tracks they played were “Angelrape“, “On Horns Impaled” and “Devil’s Blood“. They ended their set with “Malfeitor“, after which E put out the candles with bones marking an end to the ritual.
Next up were one of the infamous bands ever and the co-headliners of the tour, Mayhem. Mayhem is one of those bands that makes their presence felt without even beginning to play. Attila captured the audience with his the tools of the sacrament, featuring a noose, a skull and a lightning shaped mirror. Their setlist was filled with a lot of classics, which was great to see. Watching tracks from Deathcrush (“Chainsaw Gutsfuck”, “Pure Fucking Armageddon”, “Silvester Anfang” and the title track)and ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ (“Freezing Moon”, “Funeral Fog”, “Life Eternal” and the title track) would be the highlight for any old school follower. Mayhem’s albums are quite different from one another, and they made sure they played tracks from all their albums except ‘Ordo ad Chao’. For someone who hadn’t seen them ever before, their performance remains as a monumental memory with will reside for a long time.
Bottom line: There would very less reasons that you would want to miss out on 3 immensely popular black metal bands with a similar approach to the dark art performing together.