Enthroned – Voodoo, Belfast – Wednesday February 27th 2013

Enthroned by Marc Leach Photography
Enthroned by Marc Leach Photography

Life is full of disappointments, and it must be said that this evening was one of the more disappointing in my life as a rock critic.

Derry four piece Mourning Of The Heretic made a decent fist of their opening slot, with their brand of gothic death metal mixed with plenty of atmospherics.  Their use of programmed drums, however, made their sound a bit too clinical, saved only by Mark Valdemar’s vocals, which varied from deep growls to ear-piercing screams, and Joseph McCay’s competent lead guitar work.


Ceaseless Blight had made their highly acclaimed live debut at the beginning of the month, and were almost immediately thrown into the deep end for their second gig, supporting a band which several members openly called ‘heroes’.  The pressure did seem to show, as this was a more nervous and less convincing performance than that of a few weeks ago, but the quintet nevertheless delivered another set of well-performed classic black metal with huge swathes of melody.


Enthroned take the stage ten minutes (or nearly 13 if you count their intro tape) late – and finish four minutes before the end of their allotted finish time, meaning they play a disappointingly meagre 40 and a bit minute set.  OK, the crowd numbers are equally disappointing but – especially in the current economic climate – fans who have paid good, hard-earned cash to see a band play for an hour should get exactly what they pay for…

With a sound based on a hard, brutal, nihilistic wall of blastbeats and swirling guitar lines, frontman Nornagest uses the day the Pope delivered his final Mass to attempt to call his disciples to worship at the black metal altar – but, while there may be plenty of wine being supped, there is little if any bread being broken and the result is a disappointing, workmanlike performance, albeit with sparks of aggression and an overall positive reception from the hardy handful of souls gathered stage front.  According to the planned setlist, they were supposed to play 13 songs all told, totally around 60-70 minutes… maybe the next time Enthroned come to Belfast they’ll finish the set…


About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff
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