12th January 2018
The Dome, Tufnell Park
2 Dartmouth Park Hill, NW5 1HL London, United Kingdom
Review by Jo Blackened
Photos by Michelle Murphy
There was a buzz in the air tonight and on arrival, there was already a large queue forming outside The Dome, with eager metallers waiting to get outside, with a lot of fans wearing corpse paint and fake blood.
With doors opening at 7pm tonight and with the only support band Degial not on until 8.15, there was a wait until the night got going, but the bar was busy and it gave a chance for everyone to get in and find their friends and check out the merchandise stall, which got a lot of criticism with the overpriced t-shirts which meant the stall remained pretty empty all evening.
With the lighting going down, there was a cheer from the crowd as Degial took to the stage.
With their Swedish Death metal sound and black metal image, these guys were the perfect openers for tonight.
They had a strong start, but it was after a short while, it was difficult to differentiate between the songs and their set kind of merged into one repetitive noise, and began to sound more like a drone. The energy they started with seemed to calm down with less enthusiasm from the crowd and people moving towards the bar or chatting to each other as they seemed to become bored.
But Degial managed to pick it up in the end with them gaining back the attention of the fans with their furious growls, aggression and screams and great stage presence, they seemed to kick it up a gear.
Unfortunately despite them being different to your average death metal band, as they have a good strong melodic sound and some impressive riffs, but their melodies seem to get lost over the overpowering sound of the drums, which was consistent throughout their set.
Playing tracks from their latest album ‘Predator Reign’, which was released last year, and made it onto a lot of metallers top 20 album list, these guys really set the tone for tonight’s headliners, and still made an impressive start.
The crowd was happy and the place was getting packed fast and they walked off stage with cheers and fists in the air. If you haven’t seen or heard these guys yet, I strong recommend you check them out; their latest album is definitely one to be heard.
With a short turn around, the lights soon dimmed and it was time for Watain.
The satanic stage décor was set and filled with tall iron candle holders.
The smoke machine then burst onto the eagerly awaiting crowd and Watiain’s logo background lit up. With a massive roar from the crowd, Erik emerged from the mist, holding a chalice of fire.
There was literally electricity of excitement, from myself as well as the fans which filled this small space.
It was no surprise this show sold out immediately with fans desperately trying to get tickets right up to the end.
These guys deserved a larger venue tbh, but it gave the place an intimate and close feel. You could literally feel the heat from the stage, even at the back.
The venue erupted with cheers and screams as Erik took to the mic, beginning with track ‘Legions of the Black Light’, making for an energetic and intense start.
After a few tracks, Erik took a moment to step up onto a small platform emerging himself in the fog, with just a single backlight on him.
It was really impressive to watch and the crowd was going insane.
Speaking to the crowd, he then walked off & grabbed a gothic chalice filled with blood and threw the contents towards the fans, covering the front row before erupting into track ‘Devil’s Blood’. If you’ve ever been to a Watain show before, you know to expect this!
Playing tracks from various albums, from past to present, it made a great discography of the night, showcasing their near 20 years in the industry!
Watain were on top form tonight, with their intense, high energy, aggression, impressive sounds and performances from each member, you really can’t fault them in any way and tonight was everything you’d expect from them.
After a short encore, and with the crowd screaming for more, Erik soon returned with yet another chalice in hand and as before emerged the crowd with blood. The fans loved it as they began to play ‘Outlaw’.
The place was filled with energy, with everyone screaming, headbanging and some trying to crowd surf and get closer to the stage, even being at the back you still got an amazing view. I’m starting to understand why people like this venue now.
With their dark, ferocious, Swedish black metal sounds this is a band you need to see live. It’s not just a great gig; it’s a theatrical performance, making you feel you are part of a satanic ritual.
At the end of the night, Erik paused for a moment and raised his arms to each member of the band, as the fans showed their appreciation. The stage then darkened and eerie atmospheric music played as the other members left and Erik walked to the front and before leaving he raised his arms turning to the crowd and took a bow.
Playing continuously for 1.5 hours tonight, they never tire and they never disappoint, it was an incredible night. No matter how many times you see them you’re always left wanting and craving more!
1. Legions of the Black Light
2. Black Flames March
3. Nuclear Alchemy
4. Devil’s Blood
5. Satan’s Hunger
7. Furor Diabolicus
9. Sacred Damnation
10. Lawless Darkness
12. On Horns Impaled
13. The Serpent’s Chalice
14. The Somberlain (Dissection cover)