Behemoth at The Observatory

behemoth4Behemoth, The Observatory, February 7, 2015

The almighty Behemoth made a grand return to the Southland, this time unleashing a diabolic black mass behind the infamous Orange Curtain. Touring in support of their latest magnum opus entitled The Satanist, this blackened death metal horde from Poland had The Observatory in Santa Ana packed to the rafters and beyond.  Behemoth would send the OC metalheads into the unfathomable vestiges of hell eternal.

Opening the show was Tribulation from Sweden, whose own fiery brand of black metal filled the cavernous venue with an overpowering malevolence. Their album Children Of The Night will have an unveiling through Century Media in April. Aeon, also from Sweden, seemed genuinely surprised by the euphoria the OC metal masses were bestowing upon them, and their set was nothing short of mesmerizing. Fully expect Aeon to be headlining their own tours they next time they arrive to invade the States.

And then there was the legendary Cannibal Corpse, US gore-drenched death metal supreme, spewing out the classic tunes as well as selections from their recently released A Skeletal Domain. Especially noteworthy are the performances of Alex Webster on bass and Paul Mazurkiewicz on drums – surely the most compelling metal rhythm section on this entire planet.

behemoth2Behemoth sure know how to put on a show, thoroughly enrapturing a crowd with their black metal hymns. The stage was set with microphone stands resembling serpents – the one in the middle with lighted candles to enhance the mood for the ravaging sonnets ahead. Opening with Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer from The Satanist, the intriguing lyrics and bewitching melodies filled the dark hearts and minds of the over-capacity crowd. Conquer All from their 2005 Demigod masterwork was manifested and then it was back to The Satanist to explore the malignant realm of Ben Sahar.

Front man Nergal is sinister and charismatic live, delivering the lyrical content with a ferocious sense of conviction while weaving an exhilarating texture of aural madness on guitar. Seth also supplied imaginative axe work, and the atmospheric wall of auditory strength was wondrous to behold. Furthering the sonic plague to brutal extremes were Orion on bass and Inferno on drums. The assault to the senses raged on, with cuts such as At The Left Hand Ov God and Slaves Shall Serves enveloping the room.

The imagery at the conclusion of the Behemoth set was absolutely spectacular, with each member wearing devil masks while performing the ritualistic O Father, O Satan, O Sun! A powerful grand finale sure to haunt the nightmares of the wild-eyed possessed souls who gathered for a truly memorable night of extreme metal.

behemoth5Behemoth Set List:
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Conquer All
Ben Sahar
Decade of Therion
Messe Noire
In the Absence ov Light (acoustic break)
Ov Fire and the Void
At the Left Hand ov God
Slaves Shall Serve
Chant For Ezkaton 2000 e.v.
O Father O Satan O Sun!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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