Live Review: Behemoth, Watain, Bölzer

7 October 2015 | 4:47 pm | Mark Hebblewhite

"Behemoth have survived the decades for a reason: they've constantly delivered the goods both in the studio and live."

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You know extreme metal in Australia is in a pretty healthy state when a bill like this can attract a nearly sell out crowd. And for many in the throng (The Music included) it was actually openers Bölzer who were the biggest draw. Unfortunately though, the Swiss duo (guitar and drums only, no bass) couldn't quite match the grandeur of the minimalist sonic landscapes found on sterling efforts like Soma. In fact their first few songs sounded and looked like a couple of guys practicing in a garage, but to their credit they did find their groove mid-set and left the stage to well earned cheers.

There was no stage props for Watain this time around and without the carcasses, pig's blood and fire their entry level black'n'roll adorned with a few melodic trappings never got beyond mildly pleasing. Offerings like Storm Of The Antichrist and Malfeitor were played with the requisite vigour although a muddy mix did the Swedes no real favours. Still a large section of the crowd were obviously there first and foremost for Watain and the band did nothing except enhance their reputation among the faithful. The Music however was left feeling that the emperor(s) had no clothes.

Behemoth was everything Watain weren't. A hooded Nergal entered, held aloft lit torches and then alongside his partners in crime proceeded to deliver a flawless set of blackened death metal. With a huge sound that was denied to the opening acts the Polish juggernaut crashed through a set heavy on selections from their latest (and by far greatest) LP The Satanist. Particularly satisfying was the one-two punch of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel and Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer and the epic O Father O Satan O Son! Behemoth have survived the decades for a reason: they've constantly delivered the goods both in the studio and live. And this outing continued the streak.