Dark Funeral-Enslaved-Abigail Williams – The Garage – 2-1-07

Ah, The Garage, why I hate thee, let me count the ways. Be it thou incompetent staff, thine idiotic website design, or perchance your complete lack of organization or even the barest shred of skill. These are all reasons why I fucking hate The Garage more than life itself. It’s pretty amazing that the first time I’ve been to a venue makes me seriously consider firebombing it is a testament to how badly that facility fucking sucks.

But no, this isn’t a review of why The Garage is full of the useless and crippled (which it is); instead, this is a review of the Attera Orbis Terrarum Part III tour, or, more specifically, its stop in our little town of St. Petersburg. Due to the relative rarity of international black metal artists arriving so close to my home, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to see some of the legends in a small bar setting. I arrived late (purely accidentally, once again due to the incompetence of The Garage’s staff) and missed the set of local veterans Secrets She Kept; friends of mine who were there before said their music translated well in the live setting, the highlight of which was a cover of Mötley Crüe’s ‘Red Hot’.

Making my way to the rather sparsely populated front, I introduced myself Abigail Williams singer Ken Sorceron, who seemed distinctly uncomfortable talking to people or being in the venue in general. Prying words out of him is a test of your will to converse with monosyllabic pseudo celebrities, and even more so ones that refuse to connect with you: he claimed that the tour had been doing well (Lie: booed off stage at multiple venues), and pretty much left it at that. His 1349 hoodie and Gorgoroth shirt did little to bely the fact that Abigail Williams are sorely out of place on this tour: no matter how badly Candlelight attempts to push them, the vast majority of black metal fans are going to have a hostile reaction to their heavily metalcore-influenced music.

Despite the relatively uncharismatic aspects of the performers, Abigail Williams played a quality set composed of the entirety of the ‘Legend’ EP. While the lack of new material was somewhat disappointing, they played admirably throughout their set. Apparently bassist Kyle Dickinson (who will heretofore be referred to as ‘the fat bassist from Abigail Williams) employs a five-string instrument and a fingerpicking technique; of course you couldn’t hear it. Surprisingly enough, the most talented performer was probably keyboardist Ashley “Ellyllon” Jurgemeyer, who added an enjoyable layer with the addition of the synthestra component that sets Abigail Williams apart from other bands. Despite their performance, crowd reaction was polite but clearly not favorable. Numerous mentions of the word ‘gay’ and masturbatory hand motions could be noted. The only people who seemed particularly motivated was one group of five or so metalheads who were doing all they could to be noticed by Sorceron. Note: I was pleased by a distinct lack of hardcore dancing during their set.

After an intermission where a great deal of debate arose over the relative merits of Deströyer 666, Norweigan legends Enslaved took the stage. Immediately kicking off with ‘Path To Vanir’ from last year’s ‘Ruun’ LP, Enslaved quickly seized the attention of the crowd with their music. While I had enjoyed Enslaved’s music before, I would not have described myself as a fan; all this changed after this performance. Their music translated brilliantly into the live setting and possessed a power that I hadn’t heard before on their records. All instrumental and vocal performances were flawless: Ivar Bjørnson and Arve Isdal’s guitars spun mesmerizing riffs, and Cato Bekkevold’s drumwork was top-notch throughout. The band played incredibly well together as a unit, with an amoebic-like tendency to shift and bend, giving each member emphasis at appropriate moments. Of particular note was an incredible rendition of ‘Isa’ that absolutely shook the room; overall, the setlist was impeccable except for the curious absence of ‘As Fire Swept Clean The Earth’. Enslaved’s first performance in Florida was a sublime one, and I eagerly await their return to our state.

While awaiting the arrival of Dark Funeral, I briefly dipped into the perpetual drama that surrounds our local metal scene and dipped out just as quickly due to lack of interest. Upon the lights dimming and the requisite spooky Satanic keyboard intro beginning, Dark Funeral entered the stage in full corpse paint and leather regalia (which, judging from the rather brutal heat, must have been utterly hellish up on stage) and immediately ripped into their set. Crowd reaction was immediately enthusiastic; many horns were flashed and many hearty cries of “Hail Satan!” were heard that night. Dark Funeral themselves performed admirably, particularly on the hyperdrive version of ‘The Arrival Of Satan’s Empire’ and old classics such as ‘The Secrets Of The Black Arts’ and set closer ‘My Dark Desire’. Unfortunately, they were beset by technical issues throughout their performance, resulting in a slightly shortened set and severely angered Swedes. Amps and microphones were regularly cutting out at random intervals, and massive feedback intermittently occurred through the entire set. However, this only somewhat dampened the performance of the mighty Dark Funeral, who played on despite such issues.

Despite the issues of venue, sound, and questionable tour partners, little could invalidate the experience of seeing two of Scandinavia’s greats playing at a local bar. Hopefully the success will lead to more extensive black metal touring in our area, which, if this show was any indication, can only be a good thing.

(Originally written for http://www.grindingtheapparatus.net)

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~ by noktorn on February 2, 2007.

2 Responses to “Dark Funeral-Enslaved-Abigail Williams – The Garage – 2-1-07”

  1. Destroyer 666 > Dark Funeral

    End of story.

  2. abigail williams is the shit dick

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