Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Watain / In Solitude/ Tribulation @Baltimore Soundstage 11/3/2013

I won tickets off of bookface to see Watain! Brought ms Lindsey to hang out. This was the last night of the tour, so that's 2 last nights in 2 days. I had not seen Watain headline, and was not sure about the openers. It had been too long since my last black metal show, but I was feeling a bit tired for corpsepaint. oh well. I saw a number of people at this show- Sarah, Lindsey, Jose, Sean, Jason, Dorothy, and maybe another.



There were about 120 or so people, a pretty healthy crowd for a damn Sunday night. Comfortably crowded as it were. There was the infamous Watain stench that was not fully masked by the incense that was constantly burning. The darkness, the conflicting smells, (eventually) the bones and pigs heads, and the bands in their various occult trappings made up for a very grim atmosphere.  The merch was a bit thin, probably because this was the last night of the tour? I didn't see anything that was really striking.

Tribulation, the first band to go on, had a combination of black metal and 70s retro rock/stoner going on. Their frontman reminded me of Tom Warrior from Celtic Frost for some reason, the sound of his voice, his presence, and his face paint. Their image was a bit 70s, but their sound was heavily black metal. This combination was kind of jarring, but they made it mostly work. I thought they sounded pretty good. Their black metal had a slight stoner sound/feel to it.

In Solitude was up next, and they also had a 70s look... and sound to them. Their sound really was a rock/stoner sound, with occult ish lyrics (I think), not metal per se. That being said, they were kind of boring / their set dragged on a bit. I really disliked their singer's voice and stage mannerisms. He seemed to be possessed or on something, cause his jerky movements included fidgeting constantly with the microphone with VERY shaky hands. And then his voice just droned on, almost putting me to sleep if it wasn't so loud. And at the end of their set, he abruptly left the stage as the rest of the band was jamming. And then that was their last song. It seemed rather unprofessional to do that, just walk out while the song was still going on. That being said, the guitar work was decent, for a retroish band, but it wasn't anything distinctive. I think if you swapped them with The Sword, Witchcraft, or Wolfmother, or the like I wouldn't know the difference.  Overall I thought their set dragged on and was OK. I think a better singer would help them, but I suppose the drone voice he had was more in line with the vibe they wanted.

Around the end of the Tribulation set, a bolt fell from ceiling.Somewhere. I don't know from what, but it made me very nervous and I moved away from the place where it landed. I think someone moved it/told the management there, because I didn't see the bolt 20 minutes later. Still unnerving.

Finally,  Watain took the stage, after some lighting changes, and unveiling their backdrop. The many panels had bones in various arrangements and in a variety of smells. There were a couple Watain symbols on the top of  the frame on either side of the stage, and the roadies brought in an altar with what looked to be some sort of bull or cow head (w/ horns) and a chalice and maybe something else. This was punctuated by 2 real pig heads (confirmed by the Rock and Roll Experience guy) mounted on posts at the front of the stage.

With the stage set, Watain's drummer filled the air with the thunderous sound that drums should sound like. The guitar and raspy vocals filled in the rest, providing some grim entertainment for all. Their ramshackle appearance fit the live ritual set up and added an unhinged element to their live appearance. Watain's presence was also pretty captivating, tho not as much as 1349 IMO. I saw a couple small pits to my left, near the front of the stage, and there was of course headbanging. But it was kind of a casual Sunday night, nothing REALLY crazy from the crowd. At one point, the frontman threw a chalice full of blood/"blood"/I don't wanna know into the crowd to include them in the ritual. At another point, the frontman was crawling around, feeling the skins/canvases that were decorated with bones, as if he were divining some meaning/ message from them. Kind of creepy.

There was some skinny hot chick (who may have had other things going on...) on someone's shoulders for a lot of their set. That was kind of annoying. But I could still mostly see. At one point I could have sworn she was going to take her top off for the ritual! That is all.

As I only have 1 Watain album and only heard their new one once, I couldn't remark too much on how great/horrible of a setlist they had, just that it was a pretty solid sounding one. They had a nice 1.5 hr setlist (tho the last 5 minutes were some organ outro that we were not sure if they would come back out for a 2nd encore.). So that was kind of annoying. Otherwise, a very good show, despite some misgivings about In Solitude. Woof.


Photos:

Tribulation
In Solitude
Watain
Watain II
Watain III!

setlists:

Tribulation (8:30- 9:02)
    • When the Sky Is Black With Devils
    • Beyond the Horror
    • The Vampyre
    • Rånda
    • Wanderer in the Outer Darkness 


    In Solitude (9:16- 10:07)
    • Demons
    • Lavender
    • We Were Never Here
    • A Buried Sun
    • To Her Darkness 
    • Sister
    • Witches Sabbath


    Watain (10:34-12:05) (re: Rock n Roll Experience)
    • Night Vision
    • De Profundis
    • Storm of the Antichrist
    •  Malfeitor
    •  The Devils Blood
    •  Satans Hunger
    •  The Wild Hunt
    •  Casus Luciferi
    •  Sworn To The Dark
    •  Reaping Death
    •  Outlaw
    •  Stellarvore
    •  On Horns Impaled
    •  The Serpents Chalice
    •  Holucaust Dawn
      (keys outro 11:59- 12:05)