Belphegor at The Dome

Support: Enthroned| Destroyer 666
October 8, 2017 at The Dome
Promoter: Aeon Promotions

After missing Nargaroth and Absu on the same bill back in June, it was great to get to another of Aeon Promotions trademark big shows with a stacked line-up of extremity. And it was a blast of a night in the cursed realm between blackened and extreme death metal. Due to a mix up over timings I missed Nervochaos, but made up for it by listening to their knifepoint death metal all afternoon the other day.

But I did get there just as Enthroned were barrelling into their blackened deathened black death metal, immediately gripping the crowd to the point that the chants of ENTHRONED! ENTHRONED! rang out loudly and immediately from everyone at the front after the band’s very first track. It’s in fact within three days of the 20th anniversary of the release of their blistering debut, the spectacularly titled Towards the Skullthrone of Satan, the name of which brings another roar. There are great rock and roll moments amidst the metal that are totally assimilated into the fierce chug, producing a brilliant grooved aggression. Visually they’re an entertainingly bedraggled mess of fake blood, with the guitarist’s necro facepaint, leather trousers and jacket with no shirt making him look like a corpse in a dusty black bin bag, but they are absolutely on point, the whole roar stopping in an instant when singer Nornagest swiftly chops his hand across his throat. Brilliantly enjoyable.

The howling of wolves in blue light then brought Destroyer 666 to the stage, reanimated thrashers that have drunk the blood of black metal. It’s as if decades of subgenres from across the metal planet have been compacted into one package of tapping solos and flying Vs and studded belts and dagger riffs and pecs borrowed from Manowar, with a cover of Venom’s Black Metal underscoring the theme. After they’re done, we get a fitting blast of Motörhead over the PA while vast paint-smeared crucifixes and aluminium thingies are arranged on stage ready for the might Belphegor. Their blackened juggernaut engine soon trampled over everyone present, with the infection of choppy death riffs and grinding skuddering chainsaw rhythms spreading until all were headbanging with wild abandon. An uproarious end to a hardhitting gig.

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