SEPTICFLESH / KRISIUN / MELECHESH / EX DEO / INQUISITION
DimK: This billing was definitely value for money covering almost the entire range of the extreme Metal, from Black to Death with Eastern and Symphonic finishing touches in the case of MELECHESH and SEPTICFLESH, respectively. The only downside was the pouring rain that made our life pretty tough while on the road and messed a little bit with our schedule, but on the other hand, good things never come easy, right?
DimK: As I said, the rainy weather messed up our schedule and hence we had to re-arrange the interview with Ashmedi from MELECHESH. Fortunately, the interview went great (and it will be online soon) but we had also to miss the first two INQUISITION songs. Still, the two-piece band (there is no bassist) managed to fill the stage and delivered their old-school Black Metal with a solid as Hell performance. Even if there was no bass, the sound was massive with killer guitar distortion and guttural vocals that can be described by mentioning IMMORTAL’s Abbath. I really enjoyed “Empire Of Luciferian Race” (especially during the faster and headbanging part) and the BATHORY-esque “Command Of The Dark Crown” that defined the term ‘old-school Black Metal’ in the best way. INQUISITION were the best way to open this heart billing that was about more playing and less talking.
01. “Astral Path To Supreme Majesties”
02. “Embraced By The Unholy Powers Of Death And Destruction”
03. “Empire Of Luciferian Race”
04. “Command Of The Dark Crown”
05. “Ancient Monumental War Hymn”
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DimK: The US metalheads are very fond of foreign elements in their Metal dish and without doubt EX DEO was a fitting band to fill their hunger with their Roman Death Metal (yeah, I just invented this term). The two banners carrying the Legio XIII Gemina name (this was the famous legion that crossed the Rubicon river led by Julius Caeser) and the backdrop with the impressive cover artwork of the band’s brand new album gave an extra push to the Roman Empire aesthetics. And don’t forget EX DEO’s stage clothes that as you can imagine were Roman-themed. The pre-recorded intro led the band onstage to be welcomed by the gathered crowd of about 200 metalheads. EX DEO wasted no time and hit Reggies with “I, Caligvla” with impressively solid sound. This band has the skills and the onstage attitude to support the Roman-themed music with a perfectly staged show. Of course, Maurizio Iacono was the center of attention with his wide ranged growls and the military gestures following the Roman disciplinary tradition. I also liked the AMON AMARTH spinning-head headbanging by the two guitarists and Dano Apekian’s bass guitar moves. The only complaint I can make for this very good performance are the pre-recorded parts that somewhat took away some of the spontaneity of a Metal show, but this is expected since there is no way to have an orchestra for the symphonic parts in a live club-concert. Having watched this show and listened to “Caligvla”, I am already curious for EX DEO’s next step.
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MariaV: After the Roman-vein extreme Metal dose we got from EX DEO, it was time to get things darker with MELECHESH’s Eastern-inspired extreme Metal. Since I had the opportunity to enjoy this legendary Blackish Metal band in the past, I knew what to expect and that was nothing less than a serious dose of fine Black Metal, successfully enhanced by the Eastern-laden guitar melodies (hence the term ‘Mesopotamian Black Metal’ – if you don’t know any Geography at all, you should consult a map right away) and Ashmedi’s obscure and dominating vocals. MELECHESH sound and look more confident performing songs from “The Epigenesis” since this is the fifth tour in a row supporting that album. Nevertheless, I was a bit disappointed by the crowd’s reaction who seemed to give all the energy during the previous sets, leaving MELECHESH quite ‘empty’ (you must know that the 40% of a successfully live performance is due to the crowd’s response), but Ashmedi was ready and fueled to give us some of his best onstage moments by headbanging and ploughing the stage of Reggies. Having the session bassist Scorpios (who also helped Ashmedi with some backing and lead vocals) and with a replacement in the position of the band’s original guitarist Moloch, MELECHESH traveled us beyond the desert landscapes of Sphynxs, while Ashmedi seemed to be in very good mood, talking to the crowd and encouraging the fans to shout, scream or raise horns. Personally, I enjoyed MELECHESH’s granite performance which seemed to end very quickly (it’s funny how quickly time flies when you’re having a really good time) and I am expecting the band’s next discographic step and –why not? – a US headlining tour in the near future.
01. "Illumination: The Face Of Shamash"
02. "Sacred Geometry"
03. "Ladders To Sumeria"
04. "Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin"
05. "Triangular Tattvic Fire"
06. "Ghouls Of Nineveh"
07. "Rebirth Of The Nemesis"
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DimK: After MELECHESH’s Mesopotamian Black Metal, it was time for some in-your-face and back to the basics Death Metal from Brazil finest KRISIUN. There was nothing fancy in the show from the Death Metal veterans that was based on sheer power with hard hitting drums, vocals from hell and high dexterity/endurance guitar work by Moyses Kolesne. Even if I am not a fan of their music, I absolutely enjoyed the chaos created by the long time running band as the Chicago metalheads had an appetite for some violent fun. Ok, the mosh-pit was more like a pushing-around competition but it was still fun to watch (even though taking photos was a bitch since there is no photo-pit in Reggies). I also like to comment of the really weak stage-lights that had the band almost in darkness, even though there is not much to watch during a KRISIUN set, but to headbang till death. Alex Camargo thanked many times the sweaty metalheads for their support and continued with the setlist without talking much. This was a pure Death Metal attack with highlights “Vengeance Revelation” and “Descending Abomination” and a most honest performance from a band that continues serving this genre all these years.
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MariaV: Around 10:40pm, everything was ready to welcome the Greek cinematic extreme metallers, having the trademark Cthulu-esque stand in front of Seth’s mic stand. And I’m using the term ‘cinematic’, since one of SEPTICFLESH’s ace in their sleeve is the strong eerie atmosphere, created by the orchestrations (especially in last year’s release “The Great Mass”), reminding more a theatrical performance than a live concert.
The two huge black-and-white artistic banners, placed to the right and left of the stage, picturing The Architect and The Destroyer figures (also inspired by the band’s latest album), managed to catch immediately the fans’ attention who, having in mind that this was a working day and few blocks away another live Metal show was hosted in the Chicago area, had gathered inside the half-packed Reggies to watch the Athenian obscure league.
“Good evening, Chicago, we are SEPTICFLESH from Athens, Greece”. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting that SEPTICFLESH would look so confident and solid onstage, being outside of their home-zone, but they surely did, gaining from the very beginning the best of the crowd’s impressions (note: it was more than obvious the female Gothic-dressed presence inside the venue at that time). The ultra-baronial “The Vampire From Nazareth” welcomed the band members onstage who entered one-by-one under the sounds of the pre-recorded intro. Usually I don’t like pre-recorded parts but in SEPTICFLESH’s case did not bother me at all, since they worked in re-creating the album’s atmosphere. With exclusively songs from their last three albums, Seth and Christos gave a hell of performance on vocals/bass and guitar, respectively creating Lovecraft-ian images using dark colors with the demonical and trademark SEPTICFLESH tunes. Some of the 70-minutes set’s highlights were the horror-esque and mysticism-driven “Lovecraft’s Death” and the following “Oceans Of Grey” that, according Seth’s prologue, “this is a very difficult song to play live since it’s very emotional”.
My personal three SEPTICFLESH favorites, “Persepolis” / “Anubis” and “Five-Pointed Star” (even if I was dying to hear one or two songs from their first era) ended SEPTICFLESH’s dark theatrical set, where the band’s members left the stage as they entered, one-by-one. In my humble opinion, they are successfully chosen as the headliners of the US ‘Conquerors Of The World’ tour, so if this extreme Metal caravan passes across your door, you have to experience it – at least once.
In the middle of autumn, Chicago surely painted GREY that night! Thank you, SEPTICFLESH!
“Autumn comes to claim the old
You forget the past painted by you”
01. "The Vampire From Nazareth"
03. "A Great Mass Of Death"
04. "Virtues Of The Beast"
06. "Pyramid God"
07. "Lovecraft's Death"
08. "Oceans Of Grey"
09. "We The Gods"
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