Polish band Behemoth make their second appearance in South Africa courtesy of Witchdoctor Productions and this time they brought some friends with…
The air is rife with the sound of voices barking greetings to their friends and metalhead acquaintances at Bassline in Newtown, Joburg on Saturday 26 March. Fans keep walking in despite the negative hoopla surrounding the Behemoth show organised by Witchdoctor Productions when religious sectors branded the show as “evil” and “satanic”. However the crowd turn-out figuratively threw the middle-finger to such accusations in support of Behemoth and the opening acts of the night; Pulvis Et Umbra, Diskord and Voltumna. And the rest is up to the bands to entertain, inspire and show their fans that their worthy of those devil horns.
All the way from Cremona, Italy is Pulvis Et Umbra with crushing riffs and squealing guitars. Vocalist, Damy, tries his best to hype the crowd and encourage a moshpit. The crowd obeyed and the venues lower ground front space was a whirl of headbangers and people circling a pit. Then Norwegian death metal band Diskord made their appearance. Their sound was killer and they grabbed the crowd’s attention with their fast-paced style and high energy. Thanks to Diskord pumping the adrenaline vein – the crowd are left wanting more and eagerly salivating for Italian black metal band Voltumna to take to the stage. And they did with their druid-style gowns, corpse paint and their grotesque beautiful sounds. Voltumna set the tone of what to expect from the mighty Behemoth.
Minutes before Behemoth perform; Bassline fills up from all sides. The allocated moshpit area takes shape and the venue foreground is packed with fans trying to get a glimpse of their black metal heroes. Witchdoctor Productions signal the start of the main headliner by playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Polish band members Nergal, Inferno, Orion and Seth appear on stage – quiet and unnerved as ear shattering screams surround them. A chant of BEHEMOTH, BEHEMOTH fills the space and Nergal steps forward away from the shadows into the sea of lights. His horned, hooded costume and dripping corpse paint are frightening but fit in with the bands aesthetics. A phenomenal ritual chant begins silencing the crowd and then the distorted guitars, strong deafening vocals and pummelling drums take over. The band has minimal interaction with the crowd throughout their set but did play a cross of old and new songs. Behemoth keeps the energy flowing on (and off stage) by taking four intervals between songs. The crowd couldn’t wait to see what is coming next and what magic Nergal can pull out of his sleeve. After an hour and a half of neck-breaking sounds, Behemoth takes a bow on the Bassline stage and heads backstage. The crowd begin their familiar chant followed by ENCORE, ENCORE but Behemoth doesn’t budge and fans are forced to exit the area. After the gig, metalheads gather at Bassline’s little bar to dissect the event – the general consensus going with this has been one of the best Witchdoctor Production events so far. There are complaints of tickets being pricey but hardcore fans disagree and say that you get your monies worth during the recession. Another fan mentioned that not being able to have a meet-and-greet with Behemoth was a sad outcome but rumour has it that the Polish band were exhausted after flying in and weren’t in great spirits to meet their Joburg fans.
The vibe, the sense of community, attention to details and the friendly service at Bassline is what made the event. The bands brought their appetite for destruction and we, wayward souls, are mightily pleased about it.
Reviewed by: Lav Nandlall (more from Lav)
Shots Fired by: RainChild Photography
Date: 30 March 2016