Behemoth & Cradle of Filth – Forum, London – 10th February 2014

First up were Norwegian Black Metal band Svarttjern who got this night of black metal off to a great start.  The very early start (the band were on stage at 5.30 – 90 minutes before doors open for most gigs) on a weeknight meant the audience was smaller than they deserved, but I was impressed by how many fans had made the effort to be there in time to see Svarttjern.  They put in a great set despite technical problems that meant one of the guitarists missed most of a song while the crew replaced faulty equipment, and got the place warmed up for the next act.

Inquisition were next up – a two piece black metal band.  They’ve been going a long time and have had the same lineup since 1996.  Personally I found them a little monotonous, but the audience seemed to enjoy their set, and by now the venue was almost full/

In Solitude came next, although since they had almost all the lights turned off then “In darkness” would be a more suitable name for them.  Musically I really enjoyed their set which had plenty of appeal for fans of traditional metal as well as those fans who prefer their music more extreme

Next up were co-headliners Cradle of Filth.  They certainly had plenty of fans in the crowd judging by the reaction they got which was pretty different to the last time I saw them when they had to abandon their set at Bloodstock after a member of the band was injured by missiles thrown by unimpressed members of the crowd.  Whether you’re a fan or not, they do put on a good show, although Dani Filth’s vocals are definitely an acquired taste.  Keyboard player Lindsay Schoolcraft adds some lovely backing vocals.

Cradle of filth setlist:

Cthulhu Dawn
A Dream of Wolves in the Snow
Summer Dying Fast
The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
Beneath the Howling Stars
For Your Vulgar Delectation
Haunted Shores
Nymphetamine (Fix)
Born in a Burial Gown
Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
Her Ghost in the Fog
Funeral in Carpathia

Finally came Behemoth.  I saw them at Bloodstock a couple of years ago where they put in a superb performance and I was hoping for more of the same tonight.  Before the band came on we had the sight of some of the most impressive microphone stands I’ve seen – Nergal’s in particular looked like a church lectern with giant cobras on each side which added a menacing dark look to it.  While I’m not a huge fan of Black metal there are some real gems in the genre, and Behemoth are one of them and tonight they put in a stunning performance.
Singer Nergal has the crowd under his spell, and when he says “It really feels good to be alive” the cheers from the crowd are deafening.  With a setlist that included a mix of old and new songs this really was a performance to enjoy – brutally heavy black metal that the crowd just couldn’t get enough of.  In terms of atmosphere this performance will be a hard one to beat.

Behemoth setlist:

Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Conquer All
Decade of Therion
As Above So Below
Slaves Shall Serve
Christians to the Lions
Driven by the Five-Winged Star
The Satanist
Ov Fire and the Void
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
Furor Divinus
At the Left Hand ov God
Chant for Eschaton 2000
O Father O Satan O Sun!

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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